A total of 95 felony charges were filed April 19 against four doctors, three physician assistants, one nurse and one office manager of an Indiana family practice. Charges all relate to dealing and assisting with, or conspiracy to commit, dealing a controlled substance or narcotic. Everyone was arrested or has an arrest warrant pending.
The four doctors already have disciplinary actions pending against their medical licenses at the Medical Licensing Board of Indiana (MLB). Those actions allege inappropriate and dangerous prescribing practices including unsafe pharmacological mixes, high pill counts and ignoring signs of opiate dependence, abuse, diversion and comorbidities resulting in deaths.
Although, as of now, none of the defendants have been found criminally guilty or civilly liable for any wrongdoing, the message sent by this criminal prosecution is clear: The focus on opioid prescribing is here to stay, and doctors need to be more vigilant.