Archive for Friday, June 25, 2010

Doctor convicted in pill mill case

June 25, 2010


— A federal jury Thursday found a Kansas doctor and his wife guilty of conspiring to profit from illegally prescribing painkillers to dozens of patients who later died, in a case highlighting medical treatment of chronic pain sufferers and prescription drug abuse.

Dr. Stephen Schneider and his wife, Linda, were charged in a 34-count indictment with unlawful dispensing of drugs, health care fraud and money laundering. Jurors convicted them of a moneymaking conspiracy that prosecutors linked to 68 overdose deaths. They were directly charged in 21 of the deaths.

During their eight-week trial, prosecutors told jurors the Schneiders defrauded insurers and patients by carelessly writing prescriptions for potent, addictive painkillers to people with severe pain but also to drug abusers who feigned symptoms.

The Schneiders also were found guilty on five counts of unlawfully writing prescriptions and 11 health care fraud counts. They also faced 17 money laundering counts. Stephen Schneider was found guilty on two of those counts; Linda Schneider was found guilty of 15 money laundering charges. The government is also seeking forfeiture of their assets, but it will be up to the judge to later decide the amount.

No date has been set for sentencing. They face up to a life sentence, with the most serious counts carrying a minimum of 20 years in prison.

“The evidence in this case of patients suffering from overdose and death points to the fact that when prescription pain killers are unlawfully prescribed, they can be as dangerous as illegal drugs,” U.S. Attorney Lanny Welch said in a statement.

Schneider, 56, operated the Schneider Medical clinic in the Wichita suburb of Haysville. Linda Schneider, 52, is a nurse who worked as the clinic’s office manager.


OldEnuf2BYurDad 7 years, 7 months ago

$100 bucks says they were also using those drugs.

mom_of_three 7 years, 7 months ago

hhmm, I don't think the prosecutors were even worrying about that. But he did give those fentanol/drug lollipops used for cancer patients to people with only migraines... not to mention allowing people to fake their pain to get drugs cause he didnt give a crap....

Janet Lowther 7 years, 7 months ago

This is the main reason people in this country have to live and die with horrible pain: The government may decide a doctor is passing out too many opiates and treat him like a drug pusher.

Yes, people die of overdoses of pain medicine. When pain is at a level at which even fentanyl is of marginal effectiveness, any error in dosage that puts the patient on the high side of the prescribed dose can result in a fatal overdose.

I have a friend who has been on fentanyl for some years, and in the course of a recent hospitalization she quit breathing repeatedly while they were administering the anesthesia required for various procedures. If she hadn't been in a hospital, she would have died right then and there.

Remember, the whole regulatory structure for drugs based on opium, coca, and hemp is built on a foundation of half truths and flat out lies.

Also remember that practically all drug-related crime is based on the simple fact that the drugs are illegal. Back when junkies could walk into a drug store and buy Bayer Heroin off the shelf, we didn't have junkies robbing houses to pay for their next fix.

mom_of_three 7 years, 7 months ago

jrlii, do you have any understanding of this case at all? He over-prescribed those patients in pain, and then his office was an easy score for those seeking out prescription drugs. It was easy to get. EVERYONE in that part of the state knew about his office and to get drugs. HE was a drug pusher.

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