Kansas physician gets life in prison for selling opioids for cash

A Kansas physician was sentenced to life in prison on March 8 after he was convicted of selling opioid prescriptions to patients without a legitimate medical reason, according to the Wichita Eagle.

The sentencing came after Steven R. Henson, MD, was convicted of several federal charges in October, including illegally distributing pain medication. A federal investigation revealed patients would pay Dr. Henson $300 in cash for pain medication prescriptions.

At the sentencing hearing, Judge J. Thomas Marten said Dr. Henson "abused his position of trust as a licensed physician," according to the report. One man died after overdosing on drugs Dr. Henson prescribed him. The count relating to the man's death resulted in Dr. Henson's life sentence.

"I want this case to send a message to physicians and the healthcare community," U.S. Attorney Stephen McAllister said in a statement to the Wichita Eagle. "Unlawfully distributing opioids and other controlled substances is a federal crime that could end a medical career and send an offender to prison."

Access the full Wichita Eagle article here.

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