More controversy surrounds pharmacy, scene of shooting

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OKLAHOMA CITY — There are some new developments in what has become one of the most notorious pharmacies in Oklahoma City. Reliable Pharmacy is located near Southwest 59th and Penn. Reliable was the scene of the shooting involving pharmacist Jerome Ersland several years ago.

That shooting eventually led to a conviction, first-degree murder, for Ersland.

Reliable was in the news again last week for an issue involving the potentially illegal sale of several well-known narcotics.

The company that supplies those narcotics, Cardinal Health, had tried to cut them off because they suspected Reliable Pharmacy wasn’t doing enough to ensure those pills weren’t entering the street drug trade.

The legal battle that is unfolding now involves two more heavy-hitters: Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater and the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics.

The issue involves the distribution and sale of three controlled dangerous substances: Hydrocodone, Oxycodone and Xanex, sold under the generic name Alprazolam.

D.A. David Prater tells us, when it comes to those three drugs, Reliable Pharmacy sells more than four area pharmacies combined.

Walgreens and Walmart are across the street, Target is up the road about a mile and Ridgecrest Pharmacy is a small pharmacy in the area as well.

Prater said, “Reliable Pharmacy, a pharmacy the size of a matchbox in Oklahoma City, a blip on the radar, is selling more than all of those combined. I mean, no wonder Cardinal said, wait a minute, something’s going on here.”

Cardinal Health, the distributor of those drugs, stopped selling to Reliable last month.

Then Oklahoma County Judge Lisa Savis stepped in and ordered Cardinal to resume sales.

Now, D.A. Prater and the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics are joining in the legal battle: they filed a motion to intervene.

Prater said, “Reliable pharmacy is not making reasonable efforts to avoid diversion of the pharmaceuticals they’re dispensing.”

Oklahoma ranks number one in the nation in prescription drug abuse.

The Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics is investigating Reliable Pharmacy to make sure the scripts they fill don’t end up on the streets sold to addicts for three to four times more.

OBN Director Daryl Weaver said, “We feel like we have a due diligence to step in and make sure that people are doing right.”

Judge Lisa Davis will hear the motion to intervene next week.

The team of attorneys representing Reliable Pharmacy sent this statement:

Reliable Discount Pharmacy was provided a copy of the State’s ‘Motion to Intervene As Of Right’, by the media and only this morning. As such, we have not had an opportunity to fully digest the contents of the pleading; however, Reliable intends to vigorously defend against these baseless allegations and affirmatively seek all available relief and redress through the appropriate venues. Reliable has complied with all applicable state and federal requirements and looks forward to continuing to serve the Oklahoma City community as they have since 1990.

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