Former KC pharmacist who diluted cancer drugs will not be leaving prison

KMBZ News Staff
July 16, 2020 - 1:18 pm
A headshot of Robert Courtney overlaid against a background of the exterior of Research Medical Center



Kansas City, MO - The former KC pharmacist who diluted cancer drugs for thousands of patients will not be released from prison early.

Robert Courtney, 67, admitted in court in 2002 to intentionally diluting 98,000 prescriptions involving multiple types of drugs, which were administered by some 400 doctors, and given to 4,200 patients.

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The Missouri governor, as well as members of Missouri's Congressional delegation - Sens. Hawley and Blunt along with Reps. Cleaver and Graves, wrote to the DOJ to stop the release.  

The plan to release Courtney unleashed outcries from the general public as well.

“The Department of Justice informed me this morning that they will not release Courtney from imprisonment,” Hawley said sharing the news on Twitter. 


“That’s the right call,” Hawley said. “COVID-19 should not be an opportunity at jailbreak for violent offenders.”

Later in the day, Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, II appeared on 'Dana and Parks' and told host Dana Wright that keeping Courtney in prison is not exactly a done deal.  There's a review process that will take a few months, according to Cleaver. 


Courtney was scheduled to be transferred to a halfway house this week as the Department of Justice, under directives from the US Attorney General, has begun placing inmates with a minimal risk of recidivism on home confinement due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

Under the plan, after leaving a Colorado federal prison, Courtney would have then served the remainder of his sentence under house arrest in Trimble, MO.  

He's scheduled to be released from confinement in 2027. 




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