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A grand jury indicted a Pennsylvania doctor and his receptionist for operating an opioid pill mill that provided easy access to the addictive prescription drugs.
“Defendant Martin D. Weaver, with the assistance of defendant Erica LaBoy ran a prescription ‘pill mill’ from Weaver’s offices, at which so-called ‘patients’, actually customers, could for a cash fee obtain medically unnecessary prescriptions for Schedule II controlled substances without there being any legitimate medical purpose for these controlled substances,” charges the indictment.
According to the grand jury indictment, Dr. Martin D. Weaver and Erica LaBoy sold prescriptions for addictive prescription drugs for approximately $200 to $300. Weaver would provide prescriptions for Schedule II controlled substances without performing a medical examination, says the indictment.
“Controlled substances were scheduled based upon their potential for abuse, among other things,” explains the indictment. “For example, abuse of a Schedule II controlled substance could lead to severe psychological or physical dependence. Abuse of Schedule III controlled substances could lead to moderate or low physical dependence or high psychological dependence. Abuse of Schedule IV controlled substances could lead to more limited physical dependence or psychological dependence relative to the drugs or other substances in Schedule III.”
Under the law, doctors must have a medical reason to prescribe the powerful pain drugs. Further, they must have an additional reason to prescribe more powerful medicine. The law requires doctors to reevaluate patient use of the narcotics and provide counseling about “dosage levels, instructions for use, frequency and duration of use and possible side effects.”
The opioid pill mill operated from Dec. 2016 until Oct. 2017, says the indictment. Weaver’s receptionist, LaBoy, would often take the cash and write the prescriptions for Weaver to sign. Further, says the indictment, the pair falsified medical records to make it appear that those who purchased prescriptions actually received a medical exam.
The indictment includes numerous different occasions throughout 2016 and 2017 when Weaver prescribed pills out of his opioid pill mill in exchange for cash. Weaver also provided “upgrades” to more potent narcotics for no legitimate medical purpose. The opioids Weaver prescribed included Percocet, Oxycodone, and OxyContin.
Opioid Pill Mills
The abuse of opioids has increased dramatically in the United States over the past several years. The narcotic drugs are addictive and coupled with lax oversight, high demand, and huge profits for drug companies, the number of users has skyrocketed.
In the 1980s, drug makers touted the pain relievers for long-term use and as the prescriptions increased, so did the number of those addicted. Unfortunately, some doctors made it easy for users to obtain prescriptions for the controlled substance by over prescribing or even overtly by operating an opioid pill mill.
The Opioid Pill Mill case is United States of America v. Martin D. Weaver, et al., Case No. 2:17-cr-00612-NIQA, in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
If you or a loved one have been the victim of an opioid pill mill, contact the attorneys at McDonald Worley. They are currently investigating claims related to the opioid epidemic.