The Kentucky Board of Medical Licensure issued an emergency suspension order effective October 23 against Samson K. Orusa, MD Clarksville, Tennessee, a physician accused of healthcare fraud and inappropriately prescribing opioids. The defendant indicated that he anticipates being acquitted of more than 40 charges against him.
Orusa was convicted by a jury in Tennessee of a host of charges, according to court records, including “illegally distributing opioid pain pills, healthcare fraud, money laundering, and maintaining a medical practice for the purpose of prescribing drugs without a legitimate medical purpose.”
“Physicians who prey upon an already addicted population; steal from public healthcare programs; and engage in such reckless disregard for patient safety, as alleged here, will face a vigorous prosecution by this office,” said U.S. Attorney Cochran. “Anyone who contributes to the opioid epidemic plaguing this nation should expect to be targeted by our law enforcement partners and held accountable.”
The indictment against him was brought after a patient died of a heroin overdose the waiting room of his practice and nothing was done to help or save the patient’s life, while another passed away from an overdose after Orusa prescribed him multiple controlled substances. Tennessee revoked his pain management certificate the same day and later discovered that Orusa allegedly “wrote 164 individual prescriptions for 12,754 pills.”
Orusa applied to renew his Kentucky license in March of this year, but the Kentucky Board of Medical Licensure issued an emergency suspension order against him last month. In reapplying for licensure, Orusa wrote a letter saying he was “innocent of the charges against him” and confident that he would be acquitted.
In addition to the formal charges brought against Orusa, the doctor was convicted of “prescribing painkillers and other drugs without doing proper examinations,” a charge for which he also contends he will be acquitted. The court found that he allegedly prescribed painkillers to individuals despite having any knowledge of whether they needed them or have them in their system. The jury determined this was a clear sign that they were selling the drugs illicitly.
“Illegally prescribing narcotics for profit is a serious offense,” stated Matthew D. Line, Special Agent in Charge of the IRS-Criminal Investigation. “This investigation should send a message to operators of these illegal pill mills that this activity will be investigated and prosecuted. IRS Criminal Investigation is proud to work with our law enforcement partners to stop the flow of these illegal drugs into our communities.”
Christopher Evans, Special Agent in Charge of DEA’s Louisville Field Division, which oversees DEA activity throughout Kentucky, Tennessee and West Virginia added, “The arrest of Dr. Orusa should serve as a warning to all doctors who fail to practice medicine in an ethical and responsible manner. The men and women of DEA are committed to using every available resource to stop the flow of drugs into our communities, especially when the drug dealer is a physician.”