Wichita pharmacy owner charged in opioid case

He's accused of unlawfully distributing tablets

WICHITA, Kan - A Wichita pharmacist has been indicted on federal charges of unlawfully distributing prescription opioids. 

45-year-old Ebube Otuonye of Bel Aire is the owner of Neighborhood Pharmacy at 2251 East 21st.  Prosecutors say he unlawfully distributed thousands of tablets of Oxycodone, Methadone, Hydromorphone and Alprazolam.  The prescriptions were written by Wichita physician Steven Henson, and prosecutors say they were issued outside the usual course of professional medical practice and without a legitimate medical purpose.   Henson is scheduled for trial in October on charges of unlawfully prescribing prescription drugs.

Otuonye is accused of filling large numbers of prescriptions in return for cash payments.  Prosecutors said he filled prescriptions for a number of patients presenting at one time or back-to-back, and patients from the same family with identical prescriptions.   The indictment alleges that Otuonye filled prescriptions that one of his fellow pharmacists refused to fill.   He is also accused of defrauding Medicare and Medicaid by submitting claims for illegally filling prescriptions. 

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