Florida psychiatrist is sentenced for prescribing oxycodone and Adderall without medical exams.
Former Florida psychiatrist, Gerald Michael Abraham, 76, originally indicted by the Department of Justice for illegally prescribing controlled substances, was sentenced to three years behind bars and ordered to forfeit “more than $400,000 in cash and nine luxury vehicles, including a 2020 Acura NSX, a 2020 Porsche GT4, a 2021 Toyota Supra, a 2020 Chevrolet Corvette, a 2020 Aston Martin, a 2020 Nissan 370Z, a 2020 Chevrolet Camaro, two 2020 Ford Mustangs, and $190,496 paid toward a 2021 Aston Martin,” according to the Justice Department (DOJ).
The DOJ and the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) first started investigating Abraham after being tipped off that he was operating a cash-only “pill mill,” overprescribing opioids and other addictive drugs to patients without a medical need. The probe began in October 2019 and included a total of 18 visits by undercover patients to Abraham’s clinic in Naples, Florida. “Patients paid $400 per visit” in cash, according to court documents, to receive drugs that they, for the most part, simply asked for.
The undercover patients presented in Abraham’s office with obvious signs of drug abuse and addiction. And yet, investigators indicated, the psychiatrist prescribed oxycodone on each visit without any physical exam to assess for signs of addiction and abuse. Oxycodone is a controlled substance that is intended to only be given for the management of pain severe enough to “require daily, around-the-clock, long-term opioid treatment and for which alternative treatment options are inadequate,” according to WebMD. The brand name of oxycodone is OxyContin, the drug behind the Purdue Pharma and members of the Sackler family litigation. It is well-known in the medical community that best practice would be to prescribe an alternative drug first that poses less of a risk for addiction.
Abraham also “repeatedly increased the strength of the prescriptions when the patients asked,” the DOJ said. In one case, he told a patient that the patient’s “medical paperwork shows you are completely normal, then went ahead to prescribe the oxycodone,” according to court documents. This showed the Abraham exhibited a complete lack of care for his patients’ welfare.
In addition to dishing out oxycodone, Abraham prescribed Adderall (a drug typically intended to treat attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder) to patients without medical need as well as prescribed this drug to those who showed obvious signs of frequently abusing amphetamine after they asked for it without performing a medical exam, according to the undercover law enforcement agents. Adderall, according to WebMD, “belongs to a class of drugs known as stimulants. It can help increase your ability to pay attention, stay focused on an activity, and control behavior problems.” Both oxycodone and Adderall are known drugs of abuse, highly addicting, and made Abraham a ton of money.
Abraham voluntarily handed in his license to practice medicine in September of this year pending board action. It was set to expire in January 2022. He will be unable to renew his medical license.