People in Pennsylvania may switch doctors until they find one they like. When a family doctor is trusted for decades, it may be shocking to learn of accusations of medical malpractice. One doctor who worked as a general practitioner in another state is linked to the deaths of at least six of his patients.
Agents for the Drug Enforcement Administration say it is uncommon for family doctors to prescribe highly addictive opioids, but 80 percent of the prescriptions this doctor wrote were for the three most frequently abused drugs available: hydrocodone, Xanax and carisoprodol. Investigators searching his thousands of files found pages of refill orders for patients with little medical need for powerful narcotics. DEA agents say some patients traveled from far away because of the doctor’s reputation for overprescribing pain killers.
Six people are believed to have died of overdoses related to the prescriptions ordered by the doctor, who had been practicing medicine for 30 years. One woman allegedly began using heroin after the doctor prescribed large amounts of hydrocodone and Xanax. She died of an overdose at the age of 26. The doctor prescribed heavy pain killers for a man who had a thorn in his hand. The man suffered a fatal overdose the next day.
The DEA logged complaints about the doctor for four years and had been actively investigating him for almost a year. Local pharmacies began to refuse to fill his prescriptions. Despite warnings from the medical board, pharmacists and the coroner — as well as the DEA’s ongoing investigation — the doctor continued to dispense opioids to his patients. Just days before the doctor’s arrest, another one of his patients was found dead of an overdose.
A U.S. Magistrate judge said the threat the doctor posed to the community justified denying him bail until his trial. He is charged with drug distribution. The families of his victims recounted the agony of watching their loved ones suffer and die from their addictions. Like anyone who has gone through this pain in Pennsylvania or beyond, they have every right to contact an attorney for help in pursuing a medical malpractice claim against the doctor.
This blog entry was posted on behalf of Hof & Reid LLC, and does not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the firm or its attorneys. The information presented in this blog is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be legal advice.
Source: wfaa.com, “Family describes deadly toll at hands of doctor accused of running pill mill“, Tanya Eiserer, Nov. 11, 2016