Philly pharmacist charged by feds in oxycodone scheme

Posted: December 08, 2012

A Philadelphia pharmacist is charged with conspiring with a Norristown man to fraudulently obtain, then sell, the narcotic oxycodone.

The U.S. Attorney's Office said Arlene Gerson, 46, abused her position as a pharmacist in working with Jeffrey Handy, 33, to use blank prescription pads as a way of obtaining the addictive painkiller.

The FBI arrested Gerson and Handy today. Both are charged with conspiracy to distribute oxycodone. Gerson is also charged with attempted distribution of oxycodone. Handy is also charged with attempted possession.

According to the indictment, Gerson worked as a pharmacist in various places, including Health Center 5, a North Philadelphia health clinic operated by the city.

Gerson used her position to access blank prescription pads, and information on doctors and patients to craft phony prescriptions, authorities allege.

The pair, or others, took the prescriptions to be filled at various pharmacies, and then sold the drugs, according to the indictment.

If convicted of all charges, Gerson and Handy face a maximum possible sentence of 40 years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a $2 million fine.

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