Doctors Charged With Dealing OxyContin

By Anna Schecter

May 15, 2007 11:40am

Two doctors have been charged with trafficking the powerfully addictive painkiller, OxyContin, since executives from the drug’s manufacturer pled guilty to illegally misbranding it as less addictive last week. A New York doctor was charged Monday with narcotics trafficking for conspiring to distribute large quantities of OxyContin. Prosecutors accused Richard Morgan (pictured), 35, of selling more than 1,500 prescriptions for OxyContin and other controlled drugs between October 2006 and this month to people who were not his patients or whom he had never met or examined, according to Drug Enforcement Administration officials. THE BLOTTER RECOMMENDS Blotter Despite Guilt, OxyContin Maker Still Selling to Government Blotter OxyContin: The Giuliani Connection Blotter Guilty Pleas From OxyContin Makers Click Here to Check Out Brian Ross Slideshows One unidentified person paid Morgan $6,000 a month for more than a year for fraudulent narcotics prescriptions, according to the court records. Morgan, who has offices in Manhattan and on Long Island, pled not guilty. If convicted, he faces up to 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine. Last week an Indianapolis doctor was sentenced to 18 months in federal prison for illegally distributing OxyContin prescriptions. Despite knowing that his patient was an OxyContin addict, Robert C. Gregori continued to prescribe the powerful painkiller to the patient and even took kickbacks of the drug for his own use, according to DEA. Prior to Gregori’s sentencing on May 10, top executives for OxyContin’s manufacturer, Purdue Frederick Co., pled guilty to charges they failed to alert the public to the addictiveness of OxyContin, which has been linked to more than 450 deaths. Federal officials say the company helped to trigger a nationwide epidemic of addiction to the time-release painkiller by failing to give early warnings that the drug could be easily abused. OxyContin has been called "hillbilly heroin" because of its popularity in rural areas without access to narcotics, such as heroin, and because it could be stolen from pharmacies.

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