Illinois physician traded opioids for cash and sex with patients: 3 things to know

Constantino Perales, MD, of Peru, Ill., pleaded guilty in federal court Monday to conspiracy to possess a controlled substance with the intent to distribute.

Here are three things to know.

1. In 2013, Dr. Perales provided Andrew Strandel with hundreds of Oxycodone and Alprazolam pills to sell on the black market. In return, Mr. Strandel was supposed to pay Dr. Perales $15 to $20 per pill, according to a plea agreement. Mr. Strandel previously pleaded guilty to the same conspiracy charge as Dr. Perales.

2. In the plea agreement, Dr. Perales also admitted he prescribed hundreds of thousands of milligrams of controlled substances like Oxycodone, Suboxone and Alprazolam to three patients in exchange for sex from 2011 to 2013.

"[Dr.] Perales required the individuals to have sex with him in order to continue receiving the medications," said the U.S. Attorney's Office of the Northern District of Illinois in a release. "[Dr.] Perales knew these patients were addicted to the pills, yet he dispensed the medications without performing a medical examination or ordering any diagnostic tests to manage their conditions."

3. The 66-year-old physician faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a possible $1 million fine. Sentencing is scheduled for March 22, 2018.

More articles on opioids: 
Viewpoint: Pharma should fund opioid takeback efforts 
Montana files opioid lawsuit against Purdue Pharma
Inpatient mortality for opioid-related hospitalizations sees fourfold increase since 90s

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