Eskender Getachew

The Columbus Dispatch
Federal jury convicts Columbus-area doctor of illegally prescribing opioids
June 23, 2023
By Jordan Laird

— Excerpt

A federal jury has convicted a Columbus-area doctor of illegally prescribing opioids and other drugs.

Eskender Getachew, 58, of Galena, Delaware County, was found guilty on Thursday in U.S. District Court of 11 counts of unlawful distribution of a controlled substance.

Getachew was a neurologist for more than 20 years and also a psychiatrist and a pharmacist. He owned and operated Polaris Wellness and Recovery Center as well as the Regional Neurology and Sleep Medicine Institute, both on Columbus’ Far North Side, according to court documents. He had privileges at or worked with OhioHealth Marion General Hospital, according to U.S. News & World Report, but OhioHealth said Friday it had no record of him as an employee.

In announcing the verdict Friday, the U.S. Department of Justice said Getachew unlawfully prescribed opioids and benzodiazepines (tranquilizers like Valium) to his patients. This included the opioid Subutex, which has a high risk of abuse, according to federal prosecutors.

Prosecutors said Getachew prescribed more pills for patients who paid more at their office visits, and disregarded reports that patients were selling their Subutex…