News Release
July 13, 2010
Contact: Will Taylor
Number: 312-886-2597

Former Madison Pharmacist Sentenced for Obtaining Controlled
Substances Illegally

JUL 13 -- (Madison) Stephen P. Sinnott, United States Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin, announced that Joseph A. Theisen, 58, Madison, Wis., was sentenced yesterday by U.S. District Judge Lynn S. Adelman to one year probation and fined $4,000 for obtaining controlled substances by misrepresentation, fraud, forgery, deception and subterfuge. Theisen plead guilty to the charge on April 14, 2010.

Between 1976 and 2008, Thiesen was employed as a full-time pharmacist at the University of Wisconsin Hospital in Madison. During 2005 and 2007, Theisen obtained approximately 12,240 tablets of methadone by falsifying entries in the pharmacy’s Centralized Narcotic Record (CNR), which is maintained pursuant to federal regulation. On 19 occasions, he falsely represented in the pharmacy’s CNR that he dispensed methadone pursuant to prescriptions for two patients, both of whom were in fact deceased. On six occasions, he falsely represented in the pharmacy’s CNR that he dispensed methadone to patients under prescription numbers which had been issued to a different person. In addition, between 2005 and 2008, Theisen obtained an additional 50,000 opiate pills in the same manner.

“A very small percentage of those entrusted to legally and ethically distribute prescription controlled substances do so outside of legitimate medical purposes,” stated Timothy J. McCormick, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the DEA Chicago Field Division, which covers the state of Wisconsin. “The DEA is responsible and committed to ensuring that controlled substances are dispensed in accordance with the Federal law, no matter what professional title the offender operates from behind.”

The charges against Theisen were the result of an investigation by the University of Wisconsin Police Department and Drug Enforcement Administration - Office of Diversion Control. The prosecution of this case was handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Peter M. Jarosz.