The Los Angeles District Attorney revealed that a California doctor faces murder charges for allegedly pushing unneeded prescription drugs to patients, three of whom died of overdoses in 2009. She also faces 21 felony counts of writing fraudulent, purposeless prescriptions. Authorities says she prescribed tens of thousands of unneeded prescriptions to various patients, including methadone, Xanax, oxycodone to patients.
According to the AP, the Drug Enforcement Authority and California Medical Board had their eyes on the doctor after pharmacies raised questions about her prescription practices in 2008. She lost her license to prescribe drugs in 2010.
Doctors rarely face murder charges in prescription-based cases because prosecutors have to prove that the doctor knew there was no medical purpose for the prescriptions. Even if the murder charges don’t stick, the fact that authorities are pushing for such charges may cause over-prescribing doctors to reconsider their ways.
Prosecutor calls Calif. woman ‘Dr. Feelgood’ in announcing murder charges in overdose deaths [AP via The Washington Post]