The New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs has terminated a Rumson-based printing company’s authorization to act as a printer/vendor of prescription blanks.
The Division found the company’s failure to follow security requirements enabled a suspended doctor to allegedly obtain and write unauthorized prescriptions in another physician’s name for oxycodone and other potentially addictive painkillers.
The suspended doctor, Kenneth Lewandowski, of Middletown, was arrested in December 2014 and charged with multiple counts of conspiracy, forgery, and unlawful practice of medicine, for his alleged role in running a prescription drug ring.
Lewandowski’s medical license was suspended and he therefore was not authorized to practice medicine or order prescription blanks.
On October 2014, Nelson Press received an order for 1,200 New Jersey prescription blanks allegedly placed by Lewindowski, who falsely used the name of another, licensed physician.
That physician had not authorized Lewindowski to use his name, and did not know his name was being used in this way.
Shortly after ordering the initial set of prescription blanks, Lewandowski allegedly called Nelson Press to order 400 more prescription blanks. These blanks were ordered in the name of the same unwitting doctor, as well as in the name of a physician assistant who was Lewandowski’s alleged co-conspirator.
When the order was ready, Nelson Press allowed Lewandowski to pick up the order at the printing company’s Rumson facility.
The licensed physician, whose name was being misused, learned about the scheme through a routine check of a database that lists prescriptions written. Through the check the doctor discovered multiple prescriptions that he had not actually written, for OxyContin and other highly addictive narcotics. The prescriptions were falsely written in the doctor’s name, for individuals who were not his patients.
During the Division’s investigation, the owner of Nelson Press acknowledged that the company failed to contact the licensed physician to confirm the orders that had been made in his name. The printing company’s owner also acknowledged the company’s failure to deliver the prescription blanks to that doctor’s address of record or to Scott, as required by law. The owner also admitted that he made no efforts to verify Lewindowski’s identity when Lewindowski picked up the prescription blanks.
Through a Consent Order with Nelson Press, Acting Director Lee terminated the company’s authority to act as a vendor of New Jersey prescription blanks.
The company must wait at least six months before applying for new authorization to act as a prescription blank vendor. If the company should be approved after that time, it will be subject to a probationary period of no less than two and a half additional years, during which it would have to arrange and pay for independent audits of its ordering and printing processes at six-month intervals.