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Doctor Charged With Selling Painkiller Prescriptions
A Queens doctor has been indicted on charges that he sold painkiller prescriptions to patients, some of whom tried to pick up their pills from a Long Island pharmacy, federal authorities said.
Dr. Gracia Mayard will be arraigned Friday at federal court in Central Islip on charges of distribution of a controlled substance and conspiracy to distribute oxycodone, a widely abused and highly addictive opioid.
“I know that it is a big problem but what happens to the oxycodone after I write the prescription is not my concern,” the 61-year-old suspect allegedly told an investigator who questioned him, according to court documents. “It’s just like a person that sells guns, he cannot control what happens after he sells a gun.”
Mayard is the latest in a string of local doctors who’ve been accused of prescribing oxycodone to patients in exchange for cash. Mayards allegedly didn’t examine—or in some cases, didn’t even meet—patients before writing them prescriptions. Some patients then resold the pills, authorities said.
Drug Enforcement Administration agents teamed up with Nassau County and New York State police on a local task force to crack down on such doctors. They shared the credit for the latest bust.
“Overdose deaths from prescription painkillers are now more frequent than those from heroin and cocaine combined – this is an epidemic,” said Loretta Lynch, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York. “Rather than follow his oath to ‘do no harm,’ Mayard prescribed hundreds of thousands of highly addictive pills with complete disregard for where they would end up or who would take them.”
Mayard has been in custody since his arrest in March. He faces a sentence of up to 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine.