TN Justice Department files action to stop pharmacies unlawful opioid dispensing

CELENA, Tenn. (WTVF) — Two deaths have been linked to pharmacies in Celina, Tennessee are now at the center of a civil complaint.

Oakley Pharmacy, Dale Hollow Pharmacy and Xpress Pharmacy of Clay County, owner Thomas Weir, and pharmacists John Polston, Michael Griffith and Larry Larkin are accused of dispensing and billing Medicare for prescriptions in violation of the Controlled Substances Act and the False Claims Act.

Along with the deaths, several serious overdoses have been linked to the pharmacies as well.

In the civil complaint, the pharmacists are alleged to have ignored many blatant warning signs in patients and to have filled prescriptions for controlled substances outside the usual course of professional practice.

“The opioid epidemic has been devastating for Tennessee and neighboring states,” said Derrick L. Jackson, Special Agent in Charge at the HHS Office of Inspector General. “Physicians and pharmacists have a dual responsibility to ensure that these medications are only prescribed and dispensed when they are medically necessary.”