Former Creve Coeur pharmacist gets probation for prescription drug crime – St. Louis Post-Dispatch

ST. LOUIS — A pharmacist who formerly worked in Creve Coeur was sentenced Thursday to three years probation for fraudulently obtaining prescription medications.
On at least 10 occasions between May 2015 and November 2017, Elizabeth R. Dembo obtained prescriptions for amphetamines, oxycodone and the generic form of the anti-anxiety drug Xanax, her plea agreement says. Dembo either dispensed the drugs to herself, or she received help from one of the pharmacy’s former owners, a chiropractor or two doctors, her plea says.
Dembo was the “pharmacist in charge” at the Olive Street Pharmacy from 2015 to March 2018. 
Dembo, 38, pleaded guilty in December in U.S. District Court in St. Louis a federal charge of obtaining controlled substances by fraud. She has since moved to Florida.
Her lawyer, Talmage Newton IV, asked in court documents for probation and community service rather than prison time, citing a struggle with anxiety and depression beginning in high school that led to the abuse of ADHD medications.
In September, the Olive Street Pharmacy and one of its owners, Irina Shlafshteyn, agreed to pay $1.1 million to settle a civil complaint. The pharmacy agreed to tighten oversight of prescriptions and Shlafshteyn agreed not to participate in any business dispensing controlled substances.
Olive Street lawyer Steve Holtshouser said at the time that most of the pharmacy’s problems stemmed from relying on Dembo, and the pharmacy didn’t know “the extent to which Dembo was not living up to her professional obligations.”
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Robert Patrick is a reporter for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
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