Pharmacies under investigation

LIHUE — Two pharmacies on Kauai are being investigated by federal authorities for allegedly distributing drugs without a prescription.

Drug Enforcement Administration officials seized records and inventory from Westside Pharmacy in Hanapepe and Kalaheo Pharmacy during inspections on Oct. 9 and 10, according to receipts documenting the execution of a federal inspection warrant.

A DEA investigator said in an affidavit the administration received a complaint in August from a former employee of Westside Pharmacy that “indicated that controlled substances may have been dispensed” without a valid prescription.

The complaint specifically named Brian Carter, the owner and operator of Kalaheo Pharmacy and head pharmacist at Westside Pharmacy, the DEA agent’s affidavit said.

Carter’s attorney, Raphael del Castillo, said Monday that his client is assisting the DEA but could not divulge any further details because the investigation is still ongoing.

“There may be a story there at some point,” he said. “But it isn’t the one told in the affidavit.”

According to the affidavit, the former employee’s complaint mentioned only Westside Pharmacy, but the DEA investigator thought it necessary to look into the records of Carter’s Kalaheo business as well, citing reason to believe the same practices may be occurring at both pharmacies.

The inspection warrant granted DEA investigators and special agents broad authority to inspect Kalaheo Pharmacy’s records, allowing them to review and copy reports and documents pertaining to agreements between the pharmacy and any drug manufacturers, distributors, pharmacists or physicians.

The warrant also extended to the inspection and inventory of controlled substances, sales invoices, computer records and any correspondence pertaining to the pharmacy’s outside business relationships.

  1. Rev Dr. Malama October 23, 2019 10:55 am Reply

    Brian is an upstanding man, father and professional who may be the victim of false narrative and more….
    I work and live among the disenfranched, homeless, addicted and disabled people of Hawai’i and the culprits of prescription drugs distribution are among those who have figured out how to make money illegally while becoming career CRIMINALS in the profiteering business in prisons that the State has set up….. that’s where the FBI should focus!!!
    Big box Pharmaceutical companies have been pushing out tiny, private Pharmacies for years…. so let’s get to the bottom of the fraud!

  2. R Campbell October 23, 2019 12:34 pm Reply

    Why even publish this article when there’s just an accusation and beginning of an investigation? By putting this out there before anything has been proven, it just feeds into a negative image of a place that has the best pharmacist and employees I’ve had the privilege of doing business with on Kaua’i. They’ve gone out of their way to help me with a complicated medical issue, even covering the costs of a really expensive medication that my insurance was slow to reimburse them for instead of just cutting me off like a corporate pharmacy would (& yes I had a valid prescription for it). They are professional, kind, and I’m pretty sure Brian would give anyone the shirt off his back, but I know in my heart that he wouldn’t do what is being alluded to in this article. I am sad that TGI published this so prematurely, while all of this is still just under investigation. Next time PLEASE wait until there’s actually something concrete to write about so that you don’t needlessly damage the reputation of one of our truly awesome small business owners.

  3. OneMo October 23, 2019 3:17 pm Reply

    One mo Feds might want to check is steroids. DEA already identified this problem years ago with a pharmacy on the other side of the island.

    This is a huge business and the Shapiro brothers flooded Kauai with opioids and a doctor who wrote insane amounts of control substances.

    The Feds should look into the TramaDog prescriptions on Kauai. Vets writing insane amounts of Tramadol.

    Huge big pharma abuses on Kauai.

  4. TPM October 24, 2019 11:50 am Reply

    Brian is one of the nicest/ kind hearted person, and I know he would never intentionally do anything like this. This should have not been published over just an accusation. I pray that this does not affect his business and family.

  5. K Kalawai November 20, 2020 1:32 pm Reply

    He may have dispensed drugs to help those without a valid prescription. People with kind souls such as his like you say, seem extremely likely to do something like this. You don’t have to be unkind to break the law

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