Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Chicago Physician Sentenced to Four Life Terms for Illegal Pain Pill Prescriptions

Chicago physician Paul Volkman, M.D., was sentenced last month to more than four terms of life imprisonment for illegally prescribing and dispensing pain pills outside the scope of legitimate medical practice that resulted in the deaths of four people. Evidence presented during Volkman's trial last year showed that he prescribed and dispensed millions of dosages of drugs including diazepam, hydrocodone, oxycodone, alprazolam, and carisoprodol. Volkman operated out of four locations in Ohio before U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration investigators shut him down. A jury convicted Volkman of 18 crimes including four counts of illegal drug distribution that resulted in death. Sentences on 13 other counts ranged from 10 to 20 years and are to be served concurrently. Volkman was also ordered to forfeit $1.2 million. During the trial, the U.S. attorney prosecuting the case said Volkman "was the top physician purchaser of oxycodone in the country.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says states must take more responsibility for reining in painkiller abuse. Read more in Psychiatric News, here.
(Image: William Casey/


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