Friday, 19 July, 2024
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US osteopath behind bars for illegal Xanax prescriptions

An osteopathic physician from Illinois was sentenced to 12 months in prison last week for illegally prescribing the anti-anxiety drug alprazolam (Xanax) to people who were not his patients, and whom he had not medically evaluated – and despite knowing the drugs would be sold or abused.

Matthew Miller was indicted for writing Xanax prescriptions for six people whom he did not medically evaluate between 2016 and 2018, said the Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Missouri, while knowing they did not have a medical need for the drug.
Assistant Attorney Dorothy McMurtry also noted he did not document the prescriptions and did not consider the medical implications of prescribing the drug to these people, including any potential contraindications with pre-existing conditions or adverse drug-drug interactions.

Additionally, he did not have the necessary licences to prescribe this drug from the Missouri Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs or the Drug Enforcement Administration, reports MedPage Today.

In June, Miller pleaded guilty to one count of “obtaining a controlled substance by fraud” and one count of “making a false statement concerning a healthcare matter”.

In August 2021, a federal grand jury indicted Miller on 13 counts, including the illegal prescribing of controlled substances, the DOJ reported.

He was licensed to practice medicine in Missouri, Michigan, and New Jersey at the time the offences occurred. A recent search of those states’ licensing databases revealed either no licences or expired licences for practising medicine or prescribing controlled substances.

In Michigan, Matthew Steven Miller had been licensed both as an osteopathic physician and to prescribe controlled substances, but both licences lapsed at the end of 2018, which would have covered the dates mentioned in the indictment. However, in New Jersey, a Matthew S Miller held a medical licence as a doctor of osteopathy that expired in June 2015 due to a failure to renew.

In Missouri, where Miller pleaded guilty and received his one-year sentence, there was no available record of a medical licence under his name in the licensing database.

 

MedPage Today article – Physician Sentenced to Prison for Illegally Prescribing Anti-Anxiety Drug (Open access)

 

See more from MedicalBrief archives:

 

US opioid crisis: Doctor faces life in prison for over-prescribing

 

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Urgent strategies needed to tackle US opioid crisis – Doctors have a role

 

 

 

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