In August of 2001 Robert Ray Courtney was arrested in Kansas City, Missouri and charged with diluting drugs used to treat cancer patients. Courtney’s actions not only violated criminal and civil laws but they shattered the ethical code and the oath he took as a licensed pharmacist. His actions left many people wondering why anyone would commit such a horrible act, let alone a trusted pharmacist who was providing medication to patients whose very lives depended on him doing his job.
Detailed Account and Key Facts of the Robert Ray Courtney Case
In 1992 then pharmacist Robert Ray Courtney started diluting medications that were given to patients by injection or infusion. In 1998 a sales representative from one of the drug companies, Darryl Ashley, noted a discrepancy in the amount of drugs Courtney ordered and dispensed. Eli Lilly was notified and investigated how Courtney was supplied the drugs. Finding that he did not go outside their supply chain, Eli Lilly did not pursue the issue any further. However in 2001 Ashley mentioned this in the office of Dr. Verda Hunter who sent samples of the drug in question to a laboratory for testing (Draper, 2003). In July of 2001 a federal investigation begins and on August 15, 2001 Courtney surrenders to the FBI.
Biographical description of the defendant and his company.
Robert Ray Courtney was born in Hays, Kansas in 1952. The only son of an ordained minister, the “families of traveling ministers typically were close but poor” (Montgomery, 2001). Words used to describe Robert Ray Courtney from numerous individuals that knew him were geek, quiet, reliable, stoic and successful. Courtney has been married three times and has four biological children and one stepchild who is the daughter of his third wife. Courtney’s first divorce following 17 years of marriage is of particular note due to the fact that she obtained a written promise from Courtney relating directly to his pharmacy business. Montgomery (2001) reported that Quiness Courtney has documents that promise “to hold Wife harmless from any past or future liabilities of Robert Courtney's pharmacy business and to cover all expenses, court costs and attorney fees expended by Wife to defend herself in any action relating to said business.” Courtney’s second wife, for five days in 1990, exposed a bit of his darker nature. Draper (2003) interviewed her and reported that he physically assaulted one of his daughters in public and his second wife was in fear for her life around him. In this same article wife number two discussed his public generosity and disclosed his complaints of parents wanting money and that she needed to start saving money. In 1996 Courtney and third wife Laura purchased a large house, valued at $700,000 in 2001, in the wealthy Northland area of Kansas City. Courtney also purchased a $200,000 home for his parents. Essentially Robert Ray Courtney was all about outward appearances but in his house...