Physicians work to keep their patients healthy. Sometimes this can come with tough questions, such as the best way to manage pain. Although medications like oxycodone can help, the federal government has cracked down on the reasoning to prescribe this medication due to its highly addictive nature.
This crackdown can mean doctors face allegations of criminal wrongdoing if they are not careful in how the prescribe this medication.
In a recent example, the Department of Justice (DOJ) accused a Brooklyn doctor as well as three pharmacists of criminal wrongdoing related to the distribution of prescription medications. The feds claim the group worked together to illegally provide oxycodone throughout their communities. The Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) Special Agent-in-Charge was quoted in the matter, stating the work to bring down these medical professionals was “righteous” and supported by evidence the group provided over 11,000 prescriptions for oxycodone from December 2018 through October 2022.
The case shows how local, state, and federal agencies work together to investigate these matters. It involved over half a dozen agencies and departments, including the New York City Police Department (NYPD) and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General’s Office of Investigations, New York Region (HHS-OIG).
What happens when doctors give out oxycodone?
In this case, the accused face allegations of running a drug trafficking operation. This has led to criminal charges that include drug charges and money laundering. Each comes with up to 20 years imprisonment.
The types of charges will vary depending on a number of different factors, such as the amount and type of the medication in question.
What should medical professionals learn from this case?
If under investigation, act to protect your interests. The investigation could lead to allegations of a violation of federal regulations like the Anti-Kickback Statute (AKS) and even snowball to include criminal charges like money laundering. Defenses are available and you do not have to go through the process on your own. An attorney experienced in the unique risks associated with the medical profession can review your case and advocate for your rights.
Attorney John Rivas is responsible for this communication