Stories of medical doctors selling illegal prescription drugs(Keyword) to patients and drug addicts have grown in leaps and bounds and for me personally, they are quite distressing to say the least. As a matter of fact, professional bodies such as The American Medical Association, the Federal Trade Commission and other State medical societies have taken a keen interest on any such case that comes to their attention.

The most recent case I came across the other day involved a Doctor in the town of Youngstown in New York who was recently arrested for selling lots of illegal prescription drugs to patient who is under Medicaid. An interesting twist to this case was the fact that the patient was returning three quarters of the prescribed drugs back to the Doctor who was then offloading them to drug peddlers who in turn hooked up the doctor with young girls.

Peter D. Grant was arraigned on several felony charges. One of the charges was the sale of a prescription for a controlled Substance in the Niagara County Court. He was released on a bond of $40,000. As the attorney general noted with lots of concern on this particular case, the use of prescription drugs illegally has become a huge epidemic in many states and countries. I did also notice that the doctor came under a lot of criticism and castigation and rightfully so for using his position to perpetuate the problem of drug abuse rather than help combat it.

How he continuously beat the system 

Dr. Grant, an emergency room doctor, continuously wrote prescriptions for the prescription drug known as Lortab which is widely used by patients who are dependent on hydrocodone. Because the patient in question was a Medicaid recipient, the doctor did find it a bit easy to beat the system. This is because the recipient in question used Medicaid prescription coverage to fill his prescriptions at the local pharmacies without ever receiving any medical examination or any form of treatment. As a matter of fact, they would meet in a restaurant or in Grants car where they would fill the prescription forms and get the drugs whenever they wanted.

A brief glance at Dr Grant’s financial records revealed a man who was living way beyond his means and spending lavishly on trips, cars and gifts. Because most of his payments were in cash, he was able to hide his earnings and had a large cache of cash retrieved from his house during his arrest. The young girls Grant dealt with were also found to be mostly addicted to prescription drugs and most of them were from middle class families. As for Grants colleagues at the hospital, his arrest came as a surprise as they claim he was one of the most professional and compassionate doctor they had around in the emergency room. In my opinion, his colleagues should have at least noticed something and raised a red flag.

What other professionals are saying 

Many doctors acknowledge that apart from instances such as that of Grant where he was an emergency doctor, a more fundamental conflict of interest has reared its ugly head once again as most doctors are currently opting to dispense drugs in their offices. Studies have intimated that nearly five percent of the over 75,000 of all the practicing physicians in Connecticut, New York and Connecticut started doing this at least a year or two ago. Most doctors tend to stock twenty to fifty of the most commonly prescribed drugs that have been pre-packaged in dosages commonly issued to patients.

As a matter of fact, on further investigation, it was found that a former colleague of Grant who was a close friend of his but was in private practice, but died of a drug overdose was the one who introduced him to the trade of illegal drugs. The deceased on his part would give out tranquilizers for nervous disorders and prescription drugs for anxiety to drug peddlers and addicts.

What the government is doing

It is worth noting that not all state governments approve of their doctors or physicians selling prescription drugs in their offices. Even though areas such as New York, Connecticut and New Jersey have no such laws in place, in areas such as Maryland and Florida, it is illegal for doctors to sell these prescription drugs to patients. Various government and professional bodies such as the FTC (federal trade commission) and American medical Association are also considering their previous support for doctors to sell drugs in their offices.

Personally I think programs such as Medicaid need to be protected and guarded jealously by implementing programs such as the popular I-STOP programs to help reduce the issuance of these illegal prescription drugs.


Robert Gombos

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