FORT SMITH (KFSM): Federal authorities allege that two River Valley doctors prescribed an excessive amount of opioids to four patients who later underwent a fatal overdose.
Agents of the US Drug Enforcement Agency UU They accused Dr. Donald E. Hinderliter and Cecil W. Gaby of dispensing opioids "outside of the usual course of professional practice and without a legitimate medical purpose," according to a federal unsealed order on Monday (November .27) in the District Court of the United States.
The agents said that a doctor, identified only by title, and others claimed that Hinderliter and Gaby were cashing in cash and that they prescribed pain and anxiety medications such as hydrocodone and benzodiazepine in the same amounts, regardless of the prognosis or the need of the patient.
Neither doctor has been arrested or charged, according to the US attorney's office. UU
Gaby's medical license has been suspended since then and has a disciplinary hearing scheduled for February 2019.
The researchers said they learned of several alarming problems regarding doctors and their practices, Hinderliter Pain Clinic and Gaby Pain Clinic, from local pharmacists and former patients, including:
- People who had a fatal overdose were prescribed a mixture of pain and anxiety medications, such as oxycodone and alprazolam.
- Hinderliter prescribed 1,803 pills per patient for two years with an average MME of 136
- Gaby prescribed 3,332 pills per patient for two years with an average MME of 108
- Local pharmacists noted that Gaby and Hinderliter often wrote combined narcotic prescriptions and patients had the same doses and medications, regardless of their treatment.
- A former patient said that Gaby "runs a pill mill … a person can get any amount of pharmaceutical narcotics, this is known to everyone in the world of pills."
- Gaby and Hinderliter appear on the "Do not fill out" list of Walmart pharmacies
The milligram equivalents of morphine, or MME, are assigned to measure the potency of a drug. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say that doses at or above 50 MME can double the risk of overdose.
The DEA raided the Western Arkansas Medical Clinic, which has the same address, 1311 Fort St., as the Hinderliter clinic, last summer as part of an investigation of a local doctor. The officials refused to comment on the details of the investigation.
The US attorney's office refused to comment on Tuesday (November 27).