Last week a federal jury found a West Virginia doctor guilty for illegally distributing opioids to his patients.
Investigators say the 68-year-old physician prescribed a wide range of opioids to his patients, including hydrocodone, morphine, fentanyl, oxycodone, acetaminophen codeine phosphate, and diazepam. The highly-addictive opioids were often prescribed without a legitimate medical purpose, allege investigators, and they say he frequently distributed them outside the usual course of his professional practice.
Per prosecutors, the defendant gave 150 opioid pills to one female patient in an attempt at striking up a personal and sexual relationship with her, allegedly often meeting her in parking lots and other locations outside of his offices. They say he did not track these opioid pills in her medical files, as he allegedly did with other such patients, and many of the patients became addicted to the powerful drugs as a result of his alleged misdeeds.
Another patient allegedly received over seven times the recommended dosage of opioids from the defendant, and the defendant allegedly prescribed for him a very dangerous combination of morphine and fentanyl on several occasions.
After a six-day trial in the chambers of U.S. District Judge Robert C. Chambers of the Southern District of West Virginia, the defendant was found guilty by a jury of 17 counts of distribution of controlled substances outside the scope of professional practice and without a legitimate medical purpose. He is scheduled to be sentenced in late November.