Maryland physician facing drug charges for illegal prescriptions

A Maryland physician is facing serious drug allegations after he apparently ran a “pill mill” out of his practice in Rockville. Authorities allege that the drug offenses may have even led to the death of one of the man’s patients, who was using prescribed methadone. The doctor, who has been operating a pain management clinic in Rockville for several years, was officially arrested on July 30. His medical license had been suspended in 2010. Now, the man is facing a 29-count indictment, including distribution of controlled substances resulting in death. The man could spend decades behind bars if convicted.

Investigators allege that the man began illegally prescribing medications in 2009. Those prescription drugs included morphine, oxycodone and methadone, all of which could allegedly be obtained at the physician’s office for a fee. Authorities say they began investigating the man after pharmacists became suspicious about the prescriptions they were filling for the man’s patients. One pharmacist explained that the man’s patients appeared to be abusing the drugs, and they generally paid cash for the prescriptions at the pharmacy.

The state medical board found that at least 15 of the man’s patients had died from drug overdoses. Those people, who came from as far away as Kentucky and Pennsylvania, were allegedly receiving illegally prescribed medication at a cost of about $300 to $500 per visit. Drug Enforcement Administration professionals say that the man treated more than 4,500 people in 2009.

The physician in this case has been indicted and arrested, but that does not mean that he can automatically be considered guilty of the criminal allegations against him. These drug offenses do have potentially serious consequences. However, the doctor and all other criminal defendants deserve a fair, unbiased legal proceeding.

Source:  WJLA.com, “Rockville doctor Silviu Ziscovici allegedly ran ‘pill mill’ clinic, dealt drugs that caused patient’s death” John Gonzalez and Kevin Lewis, The Associated Press, Jul. 31, 2014