Doctors Seeing Increased Scrutiny and Punishment for Reckless Opiate Prescribing

We always are paying attention to the critical juncture of the opiate epidemic that occurs when a patient is given a prescription to "legally" obtain the addictive and potentially deadly drugs. Increasingly, physicians assistants are getting ensnared in the corrupt prescribing of narcotic drugs, and this is somewhat expected considering their access to granting the drugs combined with the incredible sums that illicit prescribing can generate. The doctors themselves are the ones that we feel particular disdain for, because they have so much more training and have taken the hippocratic oath not to harm their patiens. We’ve written about Lisa Tseng getting arrested right at her office located in a Rowland Heights strip mall in Los Angeles and felt that it was a significant "shot fired" against one of the most guilty perpetrators of the opiate addiction and overdose crisis: the greedy MDs who prescribe addicted men and women unbelievable quantities of opiate drugs. Just a few days ago, in the middle class Long Island neighborhood of Baldwin, Dr. Anand Persaud…

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Florida Governor Declares Victory Over Pill Mills

It's been a year since law enforcement agencies in Florida began to crack down on "pill mills" that were responsible for the widespread distribution of prescription painkillers like oxycodone (marketed under the names OxyContin, Roxicodone and Oxyfast). This week, Governor Scott is calling the efforts of regional law enforcement teams a success, with 213 pill mill clinics shut down in the past year. The Governor also stated that nearly half a million pills were taken off the streets and more than 2000 drug-related arrests were made. Despite this impressive arrest record, Florida still appears to have more work to do in ridding itself of its prescription drug problem. The number of statewide deaths from prescription drugs dropped only 8 percent between 2010 and 2011. Prescription drugs still kill more people than illegal drugs in the state.  Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi admits that Florida still has a long way to go in the fight against prescription drug abuse. By 2010, Florida had earned a reputation as the nation's center…

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Doctor Sold Prescriptions at Starbucks

It was never our intention to to become a watchdog website that would use our outlet to humiliate unethical doctors criminals. Yet recently we are reading some stories that compel us to provide as much of a "comeuppance" as we can to shady and unethical doctors like Alvin Ming-Czech Yee of Mission Viejo (medical practice was in Irvine). This "doctor" sat in a Starbucks Coffee Shop and sold prescriptions for OxyContin -  also known as"legal heroin" (or also known as "the prescription drug that is shattering families in record numbers)." Again, let us reiterate that Dr. Yee would perform his examinations in Starbucks. the "examinations" would last about a minute. Yee would meet up with a dozen people per night in Starbucks throughout Orange County.  The "examinations" drug deals consisted of taking blood pressure and asking patients addicts to bend over to touch their toes.  Yee laughed and joked with patients — and undercover DEA agents — and told them business was good, prosecutors allege. Yee was brazen but…

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OxyContin Ring Sells 1 Million Pills on the Street

In Los Angeles, 14 people have been charged with running a scheme to obtain OxyContin pills through insurance fraud and distribute them on the street for millions of dollars in profits. The drug distribution ring included two doctors and the operators of a clinic owned by Lake Medical Group.  Members of the ring are suspected of reselling more than 1 million OxyContin pills on the street. According to federal officials, the clinic's doctors wrote fraudulent prescriptions for the powerful painkiller and billed Medicare and Medical.  Most of the prescriptions were written for patients who did not need a painkiller. Members of the ring are also alleged to have committed identity theft and used stolen Medicare beneficiary information to obtain OxyContin.  Among those charged were Dr. Morris Halfnon, aged 88, Dr. Eleanor Santiago, aged 73, and pharmacist Theodore Yoon. The clinic used recruiters, referred to as "cappers," who offered Medicare and Medi-Cal patients up to $500 to fill prescriptions for OxyContin at local pharmacies, including Yoon's.  Runners escorted patients to…

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Doctor’s Role in Fatal Prescription Drug Overdose

In Orange County, California, coroner records show that accidental prescription drug overdoses are on the rise, from 130 in 2006 to 266 in 2009.  One of these fatalities was Jarrod Barber of Laguna Niguel, who overdosed at age 19 on a combination of: Opana - a powerful narcotic painkiller Seroquel - an anti-psychotic medication and Klonopin -  (Clonazepam) an anti-anxietymedication According to a report in The Orange County Register, Barber began to smoke excessive amounts of marijuana and abuse prescription drugs following the cancer death of a close friend.   He obtained prescriptions for Clonazepam and Seroquel from Dr. Paul D. Corona, a Laguna Niguel doctor who has built a practice by writing prescriptions for mood-stabilizing drugs. Corona, a general practitioner who now specializes in the treatment of mood disorders, is a self-described "guru" who promotes the use of mood-stabilizers for the treatment of substance abusers.  A former radio personality and author, Corona's message is that psychotropic medications can be used to treat a wide variety of physical and mental…

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Increase in Doctors Facing Criminal Prosecution Related to Drug Abuse

Dr. Conrad Murray is currently facing trial for involuntary manslaughter for administering a powerful anesthetic that led to the death of Michael Jackson.  Murray is part of a growing trend of doctors who are criminally prosecuted for medical malpractice.  According to Reuters news service, fewer than 40 doctors faced criminal charges for malpractice between 1809 and 2000.  Since 2001, there have been at least 37 cases – almost as many as in the previous 200 years. The majority of the cases since 2001 involved doctors who have overprescribed prescription painkillers and other controlled substances.  Many doctors have been charged under the Controlled Substance Act of 1970, which allows prosecution of physicians who knowingly prescribe medication outside the usual course of professional practice or for non-medical purposes. Prior to the case of Dr. Murray, the most famous prosecution of a doctor involved the death of model and reality TV star Anna Nicole Smith.  Dr. Sandeep Kapoor, Smith's doctor, was charged with supplying the celebrity with dangerous prescription drugs that eventually…

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Doctor Faces 230-year Sentence for Prescription Drug Dealing

In today's changing climate of addiction, where prescription drug abuse has surpassed illegal drug abuse, the drug dealers are often members of the medical profession. This again became evident this week in a Los Angeles federal courtroom when Dr. Nazar Al Bussum pled guilty to drug distribution charges. The 72-year-old geriatric physician, who lives in the exclusive community of Newport Coast but operated clinics in Downy and Los Angeles, could be sentenced to as many as 230 years in prison and fined up to $11.5 million. Al Bussum is charged with writing prescriptions for narcotic painkillers, codeine cough syrup and anti-anxiety medication for patients who had no medical need for the drugs. The majority of the prescriptions were for oxycodone, hydrocodone and Xanax – all highly addictive substances. Federal prosecutors estimate that he wrote more than 60,000 prescriptions between 2007 and 2010, making as much as $1 million per year by prescribing drugs that often ended up being sold on the street. Federal investigators targeted Al Bussum after his…

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