It appears that the justice system is still hard at work prosecuting doctors for illegally prescribing vast amounts of opioids. Here’s an example where the physician was originally arrested, tried, and convicted some years ago, but his conviction was recently overturned on appeal:
       This 41 year-old is currently incarcerated in Atlanta, but in a strange twist of legal fate, his attorneys were able to have the conviction tossed on technical grounds — involving a flaw in an instruction from the judge to the original jury. Now it appears he will be given a new trial.
      Things like this are a bit difficult for us lay people to understand. A lone physician was found to have prescribed more than 500,000 doses of prescription opioids to assorted patients in little more than two years of medical practice. How could that happen? Unless he was in fact running a classic pill mill operation– on steroids.
     In this case, the medical practice served a rural area of southern Virginia. Martinsville is a town of about 13,000 residents, noted for its racing Speedway and as the county seat for Henry County. That’s not exactly a population center, so where did all those patients come from, in dire need of opioids? Turns out they traveled from all around the region, including neighboring states — sometimes hundreds of miles, just to avail themselves of the doctor’s special treatment plan.
     Cash-only, naturally.
     It’s also hard for most people to understand how a physician, someone who devoted all those years to medical training, internships, residencies, would voluntarily put all that on the line by grossly overprescribing addictive drugs. He had to know they’d wind up on the streets, up for sale on the black market.
     And that eventually this would draw interest from law enforcement.
     There was a lot of money involved,  of course. According to the article, he managed to collect “… more than $700,000 in cash and credit card payments before law enforcement raided his office in March 2017.” That tells me how much, but not why he needed so much cash in the first place.  Gambling debts? Personal drug use? He had to be desperate to take such risks.
     I assume that at some point there will be a second trial, with a new judge and jury, possibly held in a different jurisdiction. I can’t help wondering if the result won’t be something similar.
     As for his original motivation, I suppose we’ll never know.
     Unless, of course, he decides to write a book.