Archive for Thursday, August 13, 2009

Former VA psychiatrist indicted on drug charges linked to Lawrence

A doctor was indicted on drug charges after illegally obtaining drugs from Topeka and Lawrence pharmacies. He was indicted on five counts of diverting controlled substances and one count of obtaining controlled substances by fraud.

August 13, 2009


A former psychiatrist at the Veterans Administration hospital in Topeka has been indicted on drug charges that have ties to Lawrence.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office said Thursday that Dr. Ethan E. Bickelhaupt was charged with five counts of diverting controlled substances and one count of obtaining a controlled substance by fraud.

Prosecutors said Bickelhaupt would have people who weren’t his patients fill prescriptions for controlled substances at pharmacies in Lawrence and Topeka. The individuals would then give him the drugs and sometimes be compensated with controlled substances or cash, prosecutors said. It’s unclear whether VA patients were involved.

Bickelhaupt is accused of issuing prescriptions from June 2006 to September 2007, during which prosecutors said he illegally issued 120 prescriptions, which included Oxycodone, amphetamines, Methadone, morphine, Hydrocodone, Tylenol No. 3, Ambien, Xanax, Provigil and Valium.

In one instance, prosecutors said he prescribed amphetamine and Tylenol No. 3 to individuals for use during parties at his Topeka home, where he also claimed to have a private practice.

“The amphetamine was so they could stay up late and the Tylenol No. 3 was to ease the discomfort of hangovers and withdrawal from using cocaine,” said Jim Cross, U.S. attorney spokesman.


puddleglum 8 years, 5 months ago

“The amphetamine was so they could stay up late and the Tylenol No. 3 was to ease the discomfort of hangovers and withdrawal from using cocaine,” said Jim Cross, U.S. attorney spokesman

I was wondering how come everybody else was partying so much better, so much longer than me.... now we all know their secret-thanks Jimbo!

Steve Jacob 8 years, 5 months ago

Lose you license, job and go to jail, guessing years, not months (when the feds are involved, your in BIG trouble). He had to be making what, 50K a year or more?

ralphralph 8 years, 5 months ago

Kind of sad. He's no kid, and been practicing 30 years. Question ... the State website shows his license was suspended on Sept 21, 2007, and was reinstated with limitations in April of 2008 --- so, what took so long to bring the charges and why has he had a license in the meantime? It looks like they should have had the evidence two years ago ... Just seems like a long time between when it is said to have happened and when the charges got filed; right up to the statute of limitations, really. There can't have been that much happen in the meantime, can there? I mean, I imagine the "limitations" on his reinstated license would include not being able to write any more 'scrips for the good stuff. It looks like he either needed prosecuted way back then, or he didn't. I can't see waiting two years and then filing it. Maybe there's some good reason, but I wonder.

Dinkybahn 8 years, 5 months ago

Apparently those of you making negative comments have never made a bad decision in your life. Good for you, you are very rare and should be very proud of your untainted life. I know this man personally, and he is an incredible man. He has more compassion for people of all walks of life than most anyone else I have ever met. I feel honored to have encountered him on a friendship basis. Let's not be so quick to pass judgement on him. To you Sabatical, shame on you, you must be a friend of his on Facebook to know about his comments. Boy I sure hope you aren't a friend of mine on Facebook. It is people like you that make this world corrupt, not people like Ethan. So for those of you that have lead a perfect life without out deceit, congrats, but if you believe that then you are obviously living a pipedream. Let's remember, he has been charged, not convicted. In any case, instead of passing judgement, we should support and pray for any individual facing such difficulty. Let's build a world of support instead of stone throwing. I hope no one reading this ever has to bear a cross like this. I will not only pray for Ethan but I will also pray that everyone on here will find forgiveness and understanding. That is truly what defines your character. edit reply

Dinkybahn 8 years, 5 months ago

How does that glass house work for all of you finger pointing, law abidding, never done anything wrong individuals? Misery does love company. People are awful fast to condemn others when more than likely they have a few skeltons in their closet that could make headline news. Lock your closet door.

Sharon Aikins 8 years, 5 months ago

Dinky, get off your own high horse and stop preaching. The man was charged, he hasn't been found guilty. But 120 charges is not something to take lightly. These are dangerous drugs and as a doctor, he knows it. Why would he have non-patients filling these prescriptions for him? If he did, then I don't think all the finger pointing is wasted. If he didn't, then the courts will vindicate him. Until then, understand that people have the right, even if you don't agree with them, to say what they want within limits. I think your protestations are a bit strong. Nobody here claims to be perfect. I have had a compassionate doctor prescribe narcotic painkillers for me and he did me no favors. They can totally mess up your whole system. The question here seems to be, were these people patients of his? Was he selling or using these drugs himself? If so, he was wrong, plain and simple. And your comments are no less judgemental than the others here. Lighten up. Most would agree that charges aren't brought, especially at this late date, without some indication of guilt. Now all we can do is wait and see.

neighborhoodwatch 8 years, 5 months ago

I noted the disciplinary action taken on Bickekhaupt's license in 2007. The medical board's order states that the board had received reports that Bickelhaupt was paying a couple of high school students cash to go fill and bring back to him his illicit prescriptions. No, he has not been convicted yet but there was apparently enough concern about the reports against him to suspend him from practice. He would not be the first psychiatrist to be convicted of similar charges. Personally, having an understanding of the general ethical level of the psychiatric practice a whole (sexually exploiting patients; neglecting actual medical practice in favor of writing a quick prescription; defrauding government and private insurance; collecting child pornography, etc. ad nauseum), this is nothing more than business as usual for the good doctor and I won't at all be surprised if he is convicted and sentenced to federal prison.

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