Doctor prescribing pills

A doctor in Montgomery County, Maryland is charged with writing hundreds of prescriptions for oxycodone (the generic version of Oxycontin) for a patient that doesn’t exist. The total amount of pills he prescribed totaled 11,000.

Doctor Brandt E. Rice, 50, took the prescriptions to the pharmacy himself. The orders were for a patient Named Aaron Rice, who the police relentlessly attempted to find to no avail.

Police say that last December, Doctor Rice, 50, went to a Rite-Aid store with his driver’s license, DEA card and a prescription for Oxycodone in Rice’s name. He also handed the pharmacist with a prepared letter explaining his patient was homebound and suffering from prostate cancer, and the patient has been battling cancer for a decade.

The pharmacist at the Rite-Aid grew suspicious of Dr. Rice’s claims and told the doctor she needed to verify a few things before completing the order. After an investigation, she contacted Montgomery County Police, resulting in a months-long investigation into Dr. Rice and his prescription writing habits.

Investigators found that Dr. Rice had obtained 316 prescriptions for Aaron Rice between January 2011 and December 2017. Most of the orders were for Oxycodone and Hydrocodone, both highly addictive opioids.

Police say that in 2017 alone, Dr. Rice collected 11,600 30 mg tablets of Oxycodone for Aaron Rice. Dr. Rice paid for all of the drugs, never using insurance.

Detectives collected surveillance video from several pharmacies to catch the doctor in the act of picking up prescriptions himself and found a long history of similar behavior. Police say that video shows Rice dropping off and later picking up the drugs.

All the while, they searched for Aaron Rice, never finding him t the addresses used to prescribe or any evidence elsewhere that he existed. “All investigative routes were exhausted, and nothing indicated that the person [Dr.] Rice obtained medication for, ‘Aaron Rice,’ existed,” court records say.

In April, Montgomery County Police formally filed criminal charges against Dr. Rice. He faces four counts of unlawfully obtaining prescription drugs by forging a prescription and four counts of possessing a controlled dangerous substance.

The doctor, who is still licensed to practice, is facing charges that could result in up to 12 years in prison and $24,000 in fines.

As far as the pills? It’s unknown where they ended up or who was taking them.