Doctor Improperly Prescribing Pain Pills
A Pennsylvania physician pleaded guilty this week to health care fraud and improper distribution of oxycodone and oxymorphone. Dr. Oliver W. Herndon, 40, prescribed more than 14,000 powerful narcotics and singlehandedly boosted the need for drug rehab services in the state. Herndon faces a likely 11 years and 3 months in prison when he is sentenced on Sept. 24.
“Doctors, nurses, pharmacists, technicians and traffickers – be on notice. If you are illegally prescribing pain medication we are coming after you,” said U.S. Attorney David Hickton.
A planned prescription drug abuse summit is planned for the end of June and will bring together people from the fields of law enforcement, medicine and the public.
“We will discuss and confront all aspect of this problem to bring awareness, to offer education and to foster new ideas,” said Hickton. “We have been and will continue to make prescription drug abuse one of our highest priorities by targeting the illegal supply chain at every level.”
Herndon improperly prescribed 10,800 tablets of oxycodone and 3,600 tablets of oxymorphone, both in powerful 30 milligram doses. As a result of his action, insurance companies and Medicaid paid between $400,000 and $1 million for unnecessary drugs.