A pharmacist was sentenced to two years of probation after being convicted in a prescription drug fraud scheme in U.S. District Court in Buffalo, New York. As a condition of his probation, he was also barred from working as a pharmacist.
Patrick R. McQuade, 30, pleaded guilty to a single count of possession of a controlled substance by fraud. He was also ordered to pay restitution of $7,793.78 to the Rite Aid Corporation, his former employer.
Prosecutors accused McQuade of creating 20 fake patient profiles and using them to write prescriptions for himself. An internal investigation found that he wrote 47 fraudulent prescriptions in order to dispense nearly 1,900 doses of Alprazolam, Cialis, Phentermine and Synjardy of different strengths. None of the doctors listed on the prescriptions had prescribed the drugs to the fake patients.
McQuade used Rite Aid’s inventory system to write the fraudulent prescriptions. The company fired him in December 2017 when his scheme was uncovered and alerted the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).
The DEA launched an investigation into McQuade in February 2018. They discovered he “was diverting Schedule IV controlled substances for personal use” at Rite Aid pharmacies across Western New York. McQuade was employed as a clinical staff pharmacist at Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center in downtown Niagara Falls, New York, at the time of his arrest.