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American Physician Sentenced to Life Term for Pain Pill Prescriptions

American Physician Sentenced to Life Term for Pain Pill Prescriptions

(ePharmaNews) – A U.S physician, Paul Volkman was sentenced to four full terms in prison for prescribing pain pills outside the scope of necessary medical use, which resulted in four patients' death.

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.”

Pain-killers addiction, an ice berg.
The mortality rate for pain medications overdose kept going up through the last decade, and it was about to reach motor vehicle accidents, which is the most common cause of death, in 2008, according to CDC.
Michael Jackson's death due to an alleged overdose drew a universal attention to pain pill addiction, which is an underestimated issue in several undeveloped parts of the world, including the middle east.
CDC experts recommend physicians to balance between patients' need for analgesia and the risk of addiction or overdose, and they also assert that pain-killer prescriptions should be monitored by health agencies in the different countries.

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Prepared by: Laila Nour

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