Las Vegas Sun

September 18, 2014

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Henderson pharmacist accused of illegally selling, making painkillers

A Henderson pharmacist whose crudely marketed wonder drug made headlines years ago is now the focus of a federal complaint alleging he illegally manufactured a controlled substance and filled suspicious prescriptions for former Las Vegas physician Dr. Vinay Kumar Bararia.

Scot Silber’s company, Green Valley Drugs, supplied more than $1.4 million worth of oxycodone and hydrocodone to Bararia after receiving suspicious prescriptions via fax for a large number of patients, according to a civil complaint released last month. Retail pharmacies normally deliver prescriptions to patients directly rather than to physicians. They also typically receive payment for medication directly from patients, and in this case, Bararia was allegedly paying Silber for the drugs.

Opioids like oxycodone and hydrocodone are heavily regulated by the Drug Enforcement Administration because they can be highly addictive.

“(Green Valley Drugs) and Silber knew or had reason to know that the prescriptions for these substances were issued for other than a legitimate medical purpose and outside the usual course of professional treatment,” the complaint says.

Bararia’s medical license was suspended in July 2012 after his arrest for the illegal sale of drugs to a federal undercover officer. Bararia, whose primary specialty is internal medicine, had been licensed to practice in Nevada since March 4, 2005. His criminal trial starts next month.

The complaint also alleges that Silber illegally mixed drugs to create fentanyl, a powerful opioid 100 times more potent than morphine, for general use. Green Valley Drugs is a compounding pharmacy, which means it’s allowed to combine drugs, but only with a patient-specific prescription from a doctor.

Daniel Bogden, U.S. Attorney for the District of Nevada, is asking a federal court to request that Silber pay up to $25,000 for each violation of the Controlled Substances Act.

Attempts to reach Silber and his company were unsuccessful late Tuesday. An attorney for him was not listed on the civil complaint.

Sources told the Sun in 2009 that federal agencies were investigating the manufacture and distribution of Vegas Mixx — Silber’s combination of Valium and Viagra that promised to heal sexual dysfunction and was targeted for the local nightclub scene. The drug was discontinued due to poor sales. So far, no charges have come forth in connection with the substance.

In an unrelated issue, the Nevada State Pharmacy Board investigated and disciplined Silber in 2004 after he missed a technician’s error while working as a pharmacist at a Sav-On Pharmacy. Pharmacy board records show that the label was supposed to instruct the patient to take doses of 1/2 to 1 cc of Roxanol — a highly concentrated form of morphine. But the label said 1/2 to one teaspoon of Roxanol. The patient’s wife watched him take hydrocodone and then drink directly from the Roxanol bottle, and he later died, pharmacy board records show.

Though Silber told the Sun that the patient had intentionally killed himself, relatives later called the newspaper to say he was not suicidal and died as a result of the mistake.

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