FORT SMITH (KFSM) – Federal authorities allege that two River Valley physicians prescribed an excessive amount of opioids to four patients who subsequently had a fatal overdose.
Agents of the US Drug Enforcement Agency have accused Dr. Donald E. Hinderliter and Cecil W. Gaby of delivering opioids "outside the usual course of professional practice and without a legitimate medical purpose," according to a federal mandate. open Monday 27) in US District Court.
According to the agents, a doctor – identified only by his title – and others claimed that Hinderliter and Gaby were charging money and prescribed pain and anxiety medications such as drugs and drugs. hydrocodone and benzodiazepine in the same amounts, regardless of the prognosis or the needs of the patient.
According to the US prosecutor's office, neither doctor was arrested or charged.
Gaby's medical license has since been suspended and a disciplinary hearing is scheduled for February 2019.
Investigators said they were informed of several alarming issues regarding doctors and their practices – Hinderliter Pain Clinic and Gaby Pain Clinic – by local pharmacists and former patients, including:
- People who have had a fatal overdose have been prescribed a mixture of pain and anxiety medications, such as oxycodone and alprazolam.
- Hinderliter prescribed 1,803 tablets per patient over a two-year period, with an average MME of 136
- Gaby prescribed 3332 tablets per patient for two years, with an average EMM of 108
- Local pharmacists noted that Gaby and Hinderliter often wrote combined prescriptions for narcotics and that patients received the same doses and medications regardless of their treatment.
- A former patient said Gaby "operates a pill mill … a person can get any amount of pharmaceutical narcotics. This is known to everyone in the world of pills.
- Gaby and Hinderliter appear on "Do not fill" list at Walmart pharmacies
Milligram equivalents of morphine, or MME, are assigned to measure the activity of a drug. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that doses equal to or greater than 50 MS may double the risk of overdose.
The DEA raided the West Arkansas Medical Clinic – which has the same address at 1311 Fort St. as the Hinderliter Clinic – last summer as part of an investigation into a local doctor. Officials declined to comment on the details of the investigation.
The US prosecutor's office declined to comment Tuesday, November 27.