She “Didn’t Know or Didn’t Care”: Doctor Who Overprescribed Painkillers Charged with Murder
June 28, 2017 | Strategic Insights for Health System
An Oklahoma doctor who prescribed a "horrifyingly excessive" amount of pain medicine has been charged with second-degree murder in the overdose deaths of five patients, according to a June 24, 2017, article in the Washington Post. Several of the patients died just days after receiving prescriptions for high amounts of painkillers from the doctor, the article said. The doctor prescribed many "irrational and dangerous combinations," the article said, quoting court documents. One patient was prescribed 510 pills (a combination of hydrocodone, Xanax, and Soma, which is described as the "Holy Trinity" of prescription drugs) and died later that day. Another retrieved a prescription for 450 pills of the same combination and died six days later. An investigator from the Drug Enforcement Administration found there was no need to prescribe the drugs in that quantity or combination.