One of the nation’s largest drug distributors, Rochester Drug Co-Operative (RDC), and two of its former executives were charged for their role in contributing to the country’s opioid epidemic. Prosecuting a pharmaceutical company and its top officers is a first and demonstrates the government’s resolve to fight the ongoing opioid crisis.
RDC was charged with conspiracy to violate narcotics laws, conspiracy to defraud the U.S., and willfully failing to file suspicious order reports. Former chief executive officer Laurence Doud III and former chief compliance officer William Pietruszewski were individually charged with conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance and conspiracy to defraud the U.S.
Accepting a plea bargain, RDC agreed to government monitoring and to reform its reporting practices. It also agreed to pay a fine of $20 million to settle a civil lawsuit.
Pietruszewski pleaded guilty to charges, and Doud appeared in federal court on April 23rd. Both men face life in prison.
RDC Ignored Red Flags
For over 6 years, RDC sold millions of controlled substances, including oxycodone and fentanyl, to pharmacies. Many of their customers did not need the drugs, some were being investigated by law enforcement, and others were on RDC’s own watch list. Additionally, despite warnings from employees that some of the pharmacies’ purchases were suspicious, executives neglected to properly report the activity to the Drug Enforcement Agency.
RDC Sales Increased Over 4 Years
The increase in controlled substance prescriptions has greatly contributed to the opioid epidemic in America. In 2016, RDC alone distributed over 42.2 million oxycodone tablets and more than 1.3 million dosages of fentanyl, which was a marked increase from its 2012 sales. While the company was selling substances that cause 100+ deaths a day, its executives were making millions of dollars, seemingly caring more about profits than the health of the nation.
Contact Bertram & Graf, L.L.C. for Superior Legal Representation
If you or someone you know was harmed after using prescription opioids, our attorneys at Bertram & Graf, L.L.C. will fight to get the compensation and justice you deserve. We have successfully represented victims in similar cases and are prepared to provide the skilled advocacy you need.
Schedule your complimentary case consultation by calling us at (888) 398-2277 or contacting us online.