Federal investigators and prosecutors in Indiana believe that four doctors at various medical center locations may be responsible for having caused as many as 27 deaths.
The individuals who died were all patients at a group of clinics in the area. Two of the doctors accused of causing the deaths are also the co-owners of the locations. The charges include various drug and conspiracy charges. A federal Drug Enforcement Agency investigation filed some 95 felony charges against nine employees, which included the two doctor owners.
According to an affidavit, the clinic was known as a go to place for individuals seeking access to prescription medications. According to some individuals, it was sometimes referred to as “the candy shop.”
According to court documents, the doctors apparently had a practice of requiring patients to pay in cash upfront, prior to being given pre-signed prescriptions, sometimes without ever seeing a doctor, in contravention of federal law, for narcotics such as oxycontin, hydrocodone, and xanax. Some patients were reportedly prescribed nearly 400 to 500 pills of methadone or hydrocodone per month. Overall, officials documented 127,495 prescriptions over four years, which translated to approximately 51 million pills.
Authorities began to investigate when drug treatment facilities and emergency room doctors began to notice that an overwhelming number of the patients that they treated were coming from the clinics.
Additionally, one doctor and expert for the DEA reported that some of the drugs that were prescribed should never have been taken together, and that poly-pharmacy death, which occurs when too many medications are mixed, and respiratory failure were commonly cited in the patient deaths.
In addition to the claims against the doctors, a lawsuit has also been filed against CVS for “negligence” and “failure to take action,” in connection with a location that routinely filled prescriptions for the clinic.
Tragically, this case is an example of when those who are able to prescribe serious medications misuse that license and harm patients. It is an example of medical doctors taking advantage of a segment of the population that is addicted to painkillers.
In addition to the obvious problems with prescribing medications that patients may not even need, there is the additional issue of prescribing unsafe combinations of meds, that may have caused several deaths. The pharmacists involved may also bear liability if they were aware that patients were being prescribed or ingesting unsafe combinations of drugs.
If you or a loved one has been injured or died as a result of a medication or pharmacy dispensing error, contact the experienced Maryland prescription error attorneys at Lebowitz & Mzhen Personal Injury Lawyers. Our lawyers have extensive experience in handling medication and prescription error cases, and we will advocating to for your rights to the fullest extent of the law. Whether you or a loved one were harmed by medications that were improperly prescribed, dispensed, or administered, contact us today by calling us at (800) 654-1949 or through our website, in order to schedule your complimentary initial consultation.
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Lawsuit Over 4 Year Old Girl Given Five Times Correct Dose of Medication, Pharmacy Error Injury Lawyer Blog, published October 21, 2013