Hospi­tal phar­ma­cist charged in theft of 200K pills

The Covington News - - THE WIRE -

NEW YORK (AP) — A phar­ma­cist who over­saw a ma­jor hospi­tal’s vault of drugs stole nearly 200,000 pow­er­ful painkillers he was sup­posed to safe­guard and dis­pense, nar­cotics prose­cu­tors said Tues­day as they un­veiled a case that makes un­usual use of a state drug-king­pin law.

For more than five years be­fore his fir­ing this spring, Anthony D’Alessan­dro ex­ploited his ac­cess to the drug sup­ply of what is now Mount Si­nai Beth Is­rael hospi­tal to grab oxy­codone and other pills by the hun­dreds and then fudged records to cover his tracks, city Spe­cial Nar­cotics Pros­e­cu­tor Brid­get Bren­nan’s of­fice said. Prose­cu­tors are still in­ves­ti­gat­ing what be­came of the drugs but be­lieve the med­i­ca­tions ended up on the thriv­ing black mar­ket for pre­scrip­tion nar­cotics, where the more than 193,000 miss­ing pills could fetch a to­tal of about $5.6 mil­lion.

The case is one of the most strik­ing ex­am­ples of a phar­ma­cist be­ing ac­cused of be­com­ing a drug thief, and it could be the first such use of a top-level New York drug traf­fick­ing law typ­i­cally used against street deal­ers. It “un­der­scores the vig­i­lance re­quired when ad­dic­tive med­i­ca­tion with a high re­sale value is read­ily avail­able — even to li­censed pro­fes­sion­als and trusted em­ploy­ees,” Bren­nan said.

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