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Post date: September 30 1999

Washington Heights Pharmacists, Manager Arrested For Illegal Sale Of Prescription Drugs

Attorney General Spitzer and Education Commissioner Richard P. Mills today announced the arrest of four pharmacists and the manager of a pharmacy in Manhattan for allegedly selling prescription drugs without a doctor's prescription.

The defendants are pharmacists Chong Lee, 55,and Rasik Vikani,47, of New Jersey and Arnolf Dorsainvil,41, and Feroze Kahn,51, of New York. The manager is Juan Ferrer,25, of New York.

The illegally dispensed drugs were cyproheptadine and in some cases, dexamethasone, which is a steroid. The drugs are often dispensed together with vitamins and known on the streets as "the combination". The drugs are used by some individuals to gain weight.

"Putting these kinds of drugs into the hands of people who are not under the supervision of a doctor is illegal and reckless." said Spitzer. "My office will continue to work with the Education Department to bring these cases to light and to justice."

Education Commissioner Richard P. Mills said:"The result of this important case demonstrates the effectiveness of cooperation between the Education Department and the Attorney General's Office in working together to insure the protection of the public and the integrity of the professions. Our continued joint efforts will benefit all New Yorkers."

The pharmacies where the sales occurred are all located in Washington Heights. They are: Nicoll Pharmacy, 1620 St. Nicholas Avenue; W&Z Drugs Inc., doing business as, VIM Pharmacy,39 Sherman Ave; AMI Pharmacy, doing business as, St. Jesus Pharmacy, 4180 Broadway; and Amsterdam Pharmacy Incorporated, 1329 St. Nicholas Avenue.

The defendants are all charged with violations of the state's Education Law which makes it a misdemeanor to dispense prescription-required medication without a prescription. The defendants face up to a year in prison and a fine of up to $1,000 each.

The case was referred to the Attorney General by the Education Department's Office of Professional Discipline which carried out the investigation. The Education Department regulates and issues licenses to 37 professions, including pharmacists.

The case is being handled by Assistant Attorney General Ronda Lustman of Spitzer's Criminal Prosecution's Bureau. Director of Investigations Daniel Kelleher is handling the case for the Department of Education.

The charges are accusations and the defendants are presumed innocent.

To check a pharmacist's license or to file a complaint, call 1-800-442-8106 or 518-474-3817 or e-mail the department at op4info@mail.nysed.gov or check the Web at www.nysed.gov/prof/.

The five individuals are:
Pharmacists:

Chong Lee
DOB 7/16/44
153 12th Street, Cresskill, N.J. 07626
Pharmacy: Nicoll Pharmacy, 1620 St. Nicholas Avenue, N.Y,N.Y.

Feroze Kahn
DOB 7/10/48
70 IU Willets Road, Roslyn, N.Y.
Pharmacy: W&Z Drugs Inc., VIM Pharmacy, 39 Sherman Ave, N.Y,N.Y.

Rasik Vikani
DOB 7/01/52
6604 Durham Avenue, North Bergen N.J.
Pharmacy : AMI Pharmacy dba St. Jesus Pharmacy, 4180 Broadway, N.Y.,N.Y.

Arnolf Dorsainvil
DOB 12/19/57
20 Gerada Lane, New Rochelle, N.Y.
Pharmacy: Amsterdam Pharmacy Incorporated, 1329 St. Nicholas Avenue, N.Y.,N.Y.

The non-pharmacist is:

Juan Ferrer
DOB 8/07/74
367 Wadsworth Ave. N.Y.N.Y.
Pharmacy: Nicoll Pharmacy, 1620 St. Nicholas Pharmacy, N.Y.,N.Y.