KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- As a pharmacist battles federal charges that he adulterated cancer drugs, drug maker Eli Lilly and Co. faces increasing scrutiny amid allegations it missed an opportunity to stop him.
Robert R. Courtney was expected to appear before a federal judge Monday to plead innocent to charges that he diluted chemotherapy drugs. Federal authorities say the wealthy pharmacist has admitted tampering with the medications in an effort to increase profits.
Meanwhile, an attorney for relatives of Courtney's patients said he will file nine lawsuits in state court Monday against Courtney, his pharmacy and Eli Lilly. According to the attorney, Michael Ketchmark, the suits claim the Indianapolis-based drug maker had reason to believe Courtney was diluting the drug Gemzar but failed to notify authorities.
Courtney, 48, is being held without bond.
The new allegations follow a Kansas City Star report on Sunday that Lilly salesman Darryl Ashley became suspicious of Courtney in early 2000 and at some point told superiors of his concerns.
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