NEW YORK — Federal agents and the NYPD arrested five doctors and a pharmacist Wednesday, accusing them of putting millions of highly-addictive Oxycodone pills in the hands of opioid addicts, for financial gain.
Doctors, pharmacist accused of selling millions of oxycodone pills: officials
October 11, 2018
By Mary Murphy
One of the physicians, 80-year-old psychiatrist Anthony Pietropinto, was tracked down by PIX11’s Mary Murphy last year, after the brother of an opioid addict asked for help.
The brother had found prescriptions to his sister for Oxycodone, Xanax and Adderall that were written by Dr. Pietropinto from a Fifth Avenue address.
The sister was still getting prescriptions from Pietropinto, even after doing a three month stint in rehab.
SI man asks PIX11 to track down doctor prescribing opioids to sister
PIX11 found Pietropinto on the very day the young Staten Island mom survived a second overdose, thanks to Narcan.
“We have an MRI for her,” the psychiatrist told PIX11 last October, when we approached him entering a medical office on Lafayette Street.
The MRI reference is often used as a defense for prescribing painkillers, with doctors stating it proves the patient had an injury that required a prescription.
The doctor claimed last October he didn’t know the young Staten Island woman had been in rehab.
Federal authorities saw the PIX11 report last October and started an investigation of Pietropinto.
They were already looking at other doctors suspected of selling Oxycodone prescriptions for profit.
The feds also arrested a Staten Island doctor Wednesday, a Westchester County pharmacist, and a nurse practitioner from Queens.
One of the doctors was being called the biggest supplier of Oxycodone in the state.
Acting U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman of the Southern District was getting set to hold a press conference.
Oxycodone has been a scourge in New York and this nation for two decades, ever since pharmaceutical companies lobbied doctors in the late 90’s that it was safe to prescribe for pain.
It turns out, the opioid was very addictive.
When several million addicts couldn’t afford the pills any more—after state crackdowns—many turned to Heroin.
Doctors practicing for years were able to circumvent the new rules requiring e-prescriptions, which mandated that most physicians had to prescribe opioids by e-mail, allowing computer tracking of what’s being ordered in pharmacies.
Last year, 72,000 people died of drug overdoses in the United States—a national record— and the majority of those were due to opioids.
PIX11’s Mary Murphy tracked down Dr. Pietropinto in 2017 and asked him about the Oxycodon medications he prescribed to a woman who later overdosed.
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