Michigan physician convicted in patient's fatal overdose

A federal jury has convicted a Michigan physician on 21 charges related to the unlawful distribution of prescription drugs and a patient's overdose death, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Michigan said March 31.

A jury found Bernard Shelton, MD, prescribed more than 5.5 million doses of controlled substances, including oxycodone and hydrocodone, between 2013 and 2016. Federal officials said Dr. Shelton issued 21 prescriptions to seven patients for no legitimate medical reason to charge for office visits and tests. Over this time period, he received more than $1.4 million from CMS and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, according to a news release.

In 2016, Dr. Shelton also unlawfully prescribed oxycodone to a 54-year-old patient who overdosed twice in the span of one week, the second of which was fatal.

Mr. Shelton faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 20 years in prison. His sentencing is in July. 

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