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Pharmacists sentenced to prison in opioid conspiracy

A Wichita pharmacist has been sentenced to 12 1/2 years in federal prison for filling thousands of prescriptions for opioids to patients of a doctor who is serving a life sentence in the scheme.

The Wichita Eagle reports that 47-year-old Ebube Otuonye, of Bel Aire, was sentenced Wednesday for unlawfully dispensing opioids and health care fraud.  He filled prescriptions at his now shuttered Neighborhood Pharmacy in Wichita for patients of Dr. Steven Henson.  The physician was sentenced to life in prison in March for unlawful distribution of prescription drugs after one of his patients died from an overdose.

Prosecutors say Otuonye ignored warning signs, which included customers paying cash instead of using insurance and patients from the same family filling identical prescriptions.  Otuonye denied that there was a conspiracy in court filings.

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