Chesterton Tribune

 

 

Munster physician gets 15 months for illegally dispensing opioids

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A physician based in Munster has been sentenced to more than a year in federal prison after pleading guilty to a felony charge of dispensing hydrocodone, an opioid, outside the scope of professional practice and not for a legitimate medical purpose, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Indiana said.

Jay Joshi, age 34, of Woodridge, Ill., was sentenced to 15 months followed by three years of supervised release and was ordered to pay a $7,500 fine and a $100 special assessment.

“According to documents in the case, Joshi practiced medicine at Prestige Clinics in Munster, Ind.,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office said. “Joshi was a medical doctor licensed to practice medicine in the State of Indiana and until November 21, 2017, was registered by the Drug Enforcement Administration to prescribe schedule II, III, IV, and V controlled substances, including opioids.”

“Between September 2017 and December 2017, the Drug Enforcement Administration and Munster Police Department obtained information about Joshi’s history of prescribing controlled substances through Indiana’s prescription monitoring system, INSPECT,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office said. “INSPECT is a tool to address the problem of prescription drug abuse and diversion of controlled substances. Investigators obtained data from INSPECT, which showed that from April 2017 to Nov. 21, 2017, Joshi issued over 6,000 prescriptions for controlled substances, the most of any medical provider in Lake County and the ninth-most in the entire State of Indiana, including more than 150 hospitals.”

“At sentencing, Joshi was held responsible for his involvement in the distribution of hydrocodone, an opioid, outside the scope of professional practice and not for a legitimate medical purpose,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office said. “Joshi’s medical license has been suspended since Feb. 7, 2018.”

“Prescribing controlled substances that are not medically necessary intensify the opioid problem our Nation faces,” U.S. Attorney Thomas Kirsch. “We, working with our law enforcement partners, are focused on reducing opioid abuse in the Northern District of Indiana. Doctors who abuse their authority are just one of the areas on which our partners are focusing.”

This case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Munster Police Department.

 

Posted 4/30/2019

 
 
 
 

 

 

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