Friday, December 28, 2007

Utah Doctor Charged for Illegal Painkiller PrescriptionsDec 24th

More doctors are falling in the Federal search for those involved in illegal trafficking of prescription painkillers. And as we have seen before, doctors are not immune. One of the latest to fall is Dr. Warren Stack of Utah who was charged with 18 criminal counts that include illegal distribution of a controlled substance, conspiracy, health care fraud and money laundering. Up to 80 people a day received prescription opiate medications from Dr. Stack and five of them died because of it.

Initially arrested last spring and released, a federal arrest warrant was issued recently after his office was raided. Undercover officers found that for only $70 to $200 each they, too, could be one of the 80 people to whom Dr. Stack issued opiate pain medication prescriptions each day.

According to the indictment, “Stack would quickly review the patient’s file, make an inquiry as to whether the patient’s prescribed medications were still working, and issue a new prescription for controlled substances … without conducting even the pretense of a medical examination.”

Stack wasn’t the only one to go down for the crimes. His two office employees were also charged with consipiracy.

The final total: Stack allegedly received at least $750,000 for illegal oxycodone, OxyContin, methadone, Percocet and Endocet prescriptions. Five people died between 2005 and 2007 from overdosing on Stack’s prescriptions. Assistant U.S. Attorney Rich McKelvie said, “They died solely as a result of his distribution of those controlled substances.”

These overdose deaths mean that five of Stack’s 12 illegal distribution charges carry a potential prison sentence of 20 years to life. The other seven have a 20 year maximum.

If you or someone you love is addicted to painkillers or procuring prescriptions illegally, you, too, could be indicted for fraud, conspiracy, and illegal drug trafficking. Rather than risk it, consider treating the problem before it gets worse with a Suboxone detox and Suboxone treatment.

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