Friday, October 30, 2020

Nurse Admits Illegally Writing Prescriptions for Oxycodone and Xanax

 John H. Durham, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, Phillip Coyne, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG), and Brian D. Boyle, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration for New England, announced that LISA M. ALEXANDER, 54, of Cheshire, waived her right to be indicted and pleaded guilty today before U.S. District Judge Janet C. Hall in New Haven to a charge stemming from her writing prescriptions for controlled substances outside the scope of professional practice and not for a legitimate medical purpose.

According to court documents and statements made in court, Alexander was a licensed Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (“APRN”) and held a DEA controlled substance registration that allowed her to prescribe Schedule II through V controlled substances.  Between approximately April 2017 and February 2020, Alexander wrote illicit prescriptions to distribute and dispense more than 3,600 oxycodone pills, a Schedule II controlled substance, and nearly 3,000 alprazolam pills (which is sold and marketed under the trade name Xanax), a Schedule IV controlled substance, to multiple individuals.  Alexander did not have a legitimate practitioner-patient relationship with these individuals, did not conduct medical examinations with these individuals, and did not confirm conditions that would medically require treatment using these controlled substances.  Alexander also knew that at least some of these individuals were selling the pills instead of taking them.

In addition, Alexander knew that some of the individuals who received prescriptions from Alexander were on Medicare or Medicaid.  Most of the illicit prescriptions that Alexander wrote were paid for by Medicaid or Medicare.

Alexander pleaded guilty to one count of unlawful distribution and dispensing of controlled substances by a practitioner, an offense that carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years.  Judge Hall scheduled sentencing for January 22, 2021.

Alexander is released pending sentencing.

This investigation is being conducted by HHS-OIG’s Office of Investigations and the DEA’s New Haven Tactical Diversion Squad, with the assistance of the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection – Drug Control Division and the Manchester, Meriden and Cheshire Police Departments.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney David T. Huang.

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