Ethan A. Huff
March 21, 2012
A California doctor accused of carelessly dispensing prescription drugs to patients who may not necessarily have needed them is facing murder charges following the deaths of several of these patients. The U.K.’s Daily Mail reports that Dr. Hsiu-Ying Tseng, 42, prescribed more than 27,000 medications to patients over a three-year period, which translates into an average of 25 prescriptions a day, which resulted in several of their deaths.
Vu Nguyen, 29, of Lake Forest; Steven Ogle, 25, of Palm Desert; and Joseph Rovero III, 21, of San Ramon all met their fate after obtaining prescriptions from Tseng for various pain and anxiety symptoms. According to records held by theOsteopathic Medical Board, Tseng failed to properly examine these three young men in accordance with care guidelines, and proceeded to just give them the dangerous drugs for no medical reason.
The prescription opiate drugs oxycodone (OxyContin) and hydrocodone (Vicodin) were among those linked to the men’s deaths, as were certain benzodiazepine drugs and the anti-anxiety drug Xanax. But because Tseng allegedly already knew that her prescribing methods were linked to causing patient deaths prior to the more recent deaths, prosecutors have charged her with second-degree murder and 21 other felony counts related to prescribing prescription drugs for no legitimate medical need.
“This case was beyond anything else we have ever seen,” said Los Angeles County District Attorney Steve Cooley in a statement, noting that the case was heavily investigated prior to the serious charges being filed. “Dr. Feelgoods who knowingly over-prescribe drugs for no medical reason other than someone asks for the drugs and pays the doctor a staggering amount of money will be dealt with severely” (http://latimesblogs.latimes.com).
Tseng is currently being held on $3 million bail. If convicted, she could face life in prison.
In a similar case, Dr. Harriston L. Bass, Jr. of Las Vegas was recently arrested for murder after a patient to which he sold prescription drugs died. In that case, the Nevada Attorney General’s office conducted a thorough investigation for six months before levying the same second-degree murder charge that Tseng received, as well as 21 counts of sale of a controlled substance, and six counts of possession for the sale of a controlled substance (http://www.8newsnow.com).
“There’s a new prosecutorial focus on these pill mills, which are doctors that are creating a cottage industry of addicts,” added Steven Clark, a legal analyst from South Bay, Calif., about such cases (http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com).
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This article was posted: Wednesday, March 21, 2012 at 4:21 am