Former physician sentenced to 2 years for illegally prescribing pain medication

A 78-year-old former physician who practiced medicine in Niagara Falls, N.Y., has been sentenced to two years in prison for conspiring to illegally dispense controlled substances from his medical office, according to the Department of Justice.

Pravin Mehta, MD, surrendered his medical license immediately after he was first charged in this case in January 2011. He allegedly prescribed narcotic pain medications for individuals without conducting legitimate medical examinations. In 2010, the government sent four individuals who were part of the investigation to see Dr. Mehta at his office on 10 different occasions. In nine of the 10 visits, Dr. Mehta issued prescriptions for controlled substance pain medication without conducting a thorough medical exam, according to the DOJ.

"In abusing his medical license, this defendant did more than harm those who relied upon him for treatment and healing," said U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul Jr. "His unprofessional and disgraceful conduct turned those patients into virtual zombies, and contributed to the massive opioid crisis our entire community continues to experience to this day."

Along with his prison sentence, Dr. Mehta was ordered to pay a $500,000 fine.

More articles on healthcare industry lawsuits:

Ex-CEO claims retaliation for blowing the whistle on $10M in false Medicare charges
Federal jury convicts Illinois physician in Medicare fraud scheme
Managed care plan to pay $46.7M to settle fraud allegations

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