DARIEN, Ga. (WSAV) – A local pharmacist faces up to five years in prison for lying about filling prescriptions for opioids and other controlled substances, federal prosecutors say.
Janice Ann Colter, 62, formerly pharmacist-in-charge of Darien Pharmacy, entered a guilty plea to one count of False Statements Relating to Health Care Matters, according to U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia, Bobby Christine.
“As the opioid crisis has burned across our nation, unethical medical professionals have poured fuel on the raging fire of addiction,” Christine stated. “Our office will continue to vigorously prosecute drug dealers who hide behind white coats while profiteering from their greed.”
She faces “substantial fines” and up to five years in prison, along with three years of supervised release.
Christine stated that according to court documents and testimony, Colter’s prescribers included Dr. Frank H. Bynes Jr. of Savannah, recently convicted in U.S. District Court on multiple counts of Unlawful Dispensation of Controlled Substances and Health Care Fraud, and other physicians located as far away as Florida.
“From 2015 to 2017, Darien Pharmacy received more than one million dosage units of highly addictive opioids from its suppliers,” the U.S. Attorney added.
A civil lawsuit accuses Colter and Darien Pharmacy with filling prescriptions for controlled substances that she “knew or should have known were not issued for legitimate medical reasons and by a provider not acting with the regular course of professional practice.”
The lawsuit represents the first-ever Controlled Substances Act suit against a pharmacy in the history of the Southern District of Georgia.