Doctors have a legal duty to adhere to the appropriate standard of care when it comes to treating and prescribing medication for patients. When a doctor prescribes unnecessary medication, they may face criminal charges for their drug crimes and severe penalties. One Ohio doctor has been indicted on 200 counts of felony drug charges after allegedly prescribing painkillers to patients without medical reason to do so.
The doctor allegedly started unlawfully distributing these medications in 2007, and distributed the drugs to seven patients on approximately 200 occasions between 2015 and 2018. According to prosecutors, the physician prescribed thousands of unnecessary doses of oxycodone, fentanyl and other painkillers to patients outside of his professional practice. The doctor is accused of failing to properly examine patients, failing to consider other treatment options and prescribing pain medications without considering patient symptoms, addictions and pain level.
In addition to these wrongful prescriptions, the doctor was apparently also charged with 14 counts of healthcare fraud. He apparently administered unnecessary epidural and trigger point injections of methylprednisolone and failed to adequately monitor the needle placement in the patients’ spines through imaging, thereby violating procedural requirements. As a result of this procedural violation, insurers received fraudulent bills, as it was impossible to determine if the injections were billable to insurers.
Prescribing medication without a legitimate medical necessity and defrauding insurance companies can lead to years of jail time, loss of licensure, significant fines and other consequences in the state of Ohio. A criminal defense attorney experienced in handling both drug and white-collar crime can help defend against these serious charges.