FOR HIGHLIGHTS CONSIDERATION:
The next episode of CNBC's unprecedented series "American Greed," which focuses on how greed change's people's lives, airs Wednesday, February 27th at 9PM & 12AM ET.
In this episode, CNBC tells the story of Robert Courtney, a well-respected Kansas City pharmacist with a reputation as one of the first in the city to mix his own chemotherapy drugs. Scores of area oncologists inlcuding Dr. Verda Hunter seek out Courtney for their patients' prescriptions to avoid handling the toxic medications. So it comes as a shock to Dr. Hunter when an Eli Lilly and Co drug rep informs her that he has noticed discrepancies in Courtney's billing suggesting the neighborhood pharmacist has been buying only one-third the chemo medication that Dr. Hunter has prescribed. Dr. Hunter sends off a sample for testing and the results confirm her worst fears--the lifesaving chemotherapy drugs have been diluted and calls the FBI. Courtney had been billing patients for the full amount and pocketing the difference, make millions off the scheme. With evidence mounting, Robert Courtney pleads guilty to 20 felony counts. Ultimately investigators discover he has diluted 72 different medications in 98,000 prescriptions for 4,200 patients since 1992. As a result civil suits are named and hundreds of families will never know if adequate dosages could have saved their loved ones. Courtney is sentenced to 30 years in federal prison for his crime. This episode truly looks at the darkest side of greed, Robert Courtney, a man who preyed on the weakest of victims and took away their only weapon in the fight against cancer.
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