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THE HYPOCRISY OF ROBERT COURTNEY


Before his arrest, Robert Courtney served as a deacon at Northland Cathedral, an Assembly of God Church in Kansas City. In 1990, Courtney began purchasing pharmaceuticals on the gray market and using them to fill prescriptions at his pharmacy. In time, he began diluting prescriptions to increase profits. Both practices were illegal.


In 1998, an Eli Lilly sales representative noticed a discrepancy between the amount of the cancer drug Gemzar Courtney bought and the amount he sold. Lilly initiated an internal investigation but found no evidence of illegality and closed the investigation without further action.


In 2001, the Eli Lilly sales representative mentioned the matter to a nurse who worked for an oncologist in Courtney’s building and was also one of Courtney’s customers. The oncologist had medication supplied by Courtney tested. When the results showed the prescriptions were diluted, the oncologist notified authorities.


According to law enforcement estimates, from 1990 to 2001, Courtney diluted 98,000 prescriptions, which were given to 4,200 patients. Courtney is reported to have diluted 72 different kinds of drugs. In August 2001, two months before his arrest, Courtney held total assets worth $18.7 million.

In 2002, Courtney pleaded guilty to 20 federal counts of tampering and adulterating the chemotherapy drugs Taxol and Gemzar. He also acknowledged that he and his corporation, Courtney Pharmacy Inc., had weakened drugs, conspired to traffic in stolen drugs and caused the filing of false Medicare claims. He was sentenced to 30 years in Federal Prison.


Courtney was also named as defendant in approximately 300 suits for fraud and wrongful death. In one case, a jury awarded plaintiff Georgia Hayes a judgment in the amount of $2.2 billion. Investigators reported that before turning himself in, Courtney gave $80,000 in cash and more than 100 doses of Prozac to his wife.


(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Courtney. From a sermon by Rick Boyne, Full Strength Love, 5/24/2011)

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