St. Louis County pharmacist agrees to $1.5M settlement for unlawful distribution of drugs


(Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

ST. LOUIS – A Creve Coeur woman will surrender her Missouri pharmacy license and pay more than $1.5 million in restitution to resolve a civil suit with the federal government.

According to court documents, Irina Shlafshteyn was accused of illegally filling prescriptions for controlled substances and then submitting reimbursement claims to Medicaid and Medicare.

Shlafshteyn was a co-owner and manager at Olive Street Pharmacy. She repeatedly dispensed controlled substances while ignoring “red flags” indicating the prescriptions were not legitimate, such as tampering with a written prescription, dangerous combinations of drugs typically sought after for recreational purposes, and amounts of opioids that exceeded CDC guidelines as much as 17.5 times the recommended daily dosage.

As part of the plea agreement, Shlafshteyn also admitted to routinely filling prescriptions for Subsys, an oral fentanyl spray, for people who did not qualify or need the drug.

Prosecutors said the majority of the Subsys prescriptions were written by a Warrenton neurologist who previously pleaded guilty to illegally distributing prescription opioids in 2018, including to women he’d lived with and had a personal relationship.

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