Although it should probably go without saying, it’s important to note that prescription drugs are every bit as dangerous as street narcotics – depending how they are used. Of course, any drugs that are abused can have serious and often irreparable health effects. Addiction, of course, is possible with any drug. So to reiterate, the misuse of prescriptions drugs is something that should be avoided at all costs.
The problem, however, is that our nation is apparently home to far too many doctors who see their abilities to prescribe drugs as routes to big pay days. Dr. Azad Khan is one such doctor. As reported by the Eastern District of Pennsylvania branch of the United States Department of Justice earlier this week, the 64 year-old has been sentenced to two years in prison for illegally distributing controlled substances.
The substances in question are Suboxone and Klonopin.
They are two drugs, says the report, that should never be prescribed together unless it is one of those very rare cases where it is absolutely necessary. Suboxone is a brand name for a drug used to treat opiate addiction while Klonopin is generally prescribed as a seizure medicine for epileptics. While it is always dangerous to mix drugs, the mixing of these two can be especially volatile.
Nevertheless, the report reveals that during Dr. Khan’s trial last summer, it was proven that he worked at a Philadelphia medical clinic known as “NASAPT” (National Association for Substance Abuse-Prevention & Treatment), run by his co-defendant, Dr. Alan Summers. During his time there, they and a number of other doctors prescribed large doses of Suboxone and Klonopin in exchange for large cash payments.
The scheme made over $5 million.
Apparently, nearly everyone who visited Dr. Summers’ clinic was prescribed both Suboxone and Klonopin regardless of their medical situations. In total, the clinic sold over $5 million worth of the controlled substances. The doctors, in fact, didn’t even wait for their customers to arrive before preparing the Suboxone and Klonopin prescriptions. They were pre-printed before the customers even met with any doctor.
No member of the NASAPT staff conducted a single medical examination or mental health examination before writing the prescriptions. It is required by law to conduct such examinations in order to legally prescribe either Suboxone or Klonopin. As well, the sizes of the prescriptions were determined by the amount of cash each customer paid. Their medical needs had no bearing on these decisions.
“For $200, the customers received a month’s supply of Suboxone and Klonopin,” explains the report, “For $50, the customers received a week’s supply. Evidence at trial demonstrated a stunning lack of medicine being performed at Summers’ clinic by Khan and many of the other doctors at the clinic.”
Many of the clinic’s customers were either drug dealers or drug addicts.
Several customers actually tested positive for illicit drugs following examinations conducted by Khan himself. Of course, these results were ignored in favour of writing large prescriptions in exchange for cash.
Doctors like these inspire the Allegiant Experts team to remain dedicated to assisting attorneys who are looking for the truth in the cases they try against health care fraudsters. If you’re an attorney trying such a case, please don’t hesitate to contact us to learn more about how our clinical expertise can assist you. Call us at 407-217-5831 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.