Friday, December 23, 2005

Pennsylvania doctor accused in OxyContin ring

From the Post-Gazette:

An emergency room doctor was the central figure in a large OxyContin ring, writing hundreds of fraudulent prescriptions and charging up to $2,000 for each one, authorities said Thursday.

Seven others - including two prison guards and two former county employees - were also charged in the case, state Attorney General Tom Corbett said.

Authorities were tipped to the ring after nurses at Aliquippa Community Hospital got suspicious when patients would come to the emergency room asking for treatment, but would leave if Dr. Alan Egleston wasn't working, the indictment says.

Agents pulled a state database that tracks prescriptions of Schedule II drugs and discovered multiple prescriptions for some individuals, notably Mr. O'Brien, who had numerous OxyContin prescriptions filled at pharmacies around Allegheny County.

Investigators questioned several of Dr. Egleston's patients, including Mr. Welsh, who said he had never met Dr. Egleston and had never been at the Aliquippa hospital, but had filled numerous prescriptions in his name obtained by Mr. O'Brien, the prison guard. Mr. Welsh said he was introduced to Mr. O'Brien by Mr. Huck, the county parking attendant. Mr. Huck said he was addicted to OxyContin and purchased it from Mr. O'Brien.

"Welsh said that O'Brien told him that he knew a doctor who could give him prescriptions for OxyContin," the presentment said. "O'Brien went on to explain that Welsh would receive a percentage of the OxyContin pills in return for allowing his name to be used on the prescriptions and for Welsh's cooperation in having the scripts filled."

According to the charges, Mr. O'Brien was paying Dr. Egleston from $1,000 to $2,000 for each prescription, depending on the strength of the drug.


Post a Comment

<< Home