A Denver Doctor who has supposedly been overprescribing strong and highly addictive drugs to his patients has been accused of running what is referred to as a "pill mill."
Less than a month after lawmakers decided to take a closer look at the program designed to keep this from happening (and finding out that it hasn't been working for years) the case has come to light.
A Psychiatrist, Howard Weiss, now faces more than 100 counts related to overprescribing dangerous medications with no look into his patient's history or little to no examination.
A former patient who asked to not be identified stated, “I brought details about therapy sessions I had done my report medical history. I kind of expected it to be an involved process because this drug is one you wouldn’t to prescribe to just anyone."
The patient had gone to Howard Weiss in search of Vyvanse which is a drug similar to Adderal that some other doctors are uncomfortable prescribing. The former patient stated, “Not what I expected from a psychiatrist. I would say it was probably too easy."
She says that her initial visit to the office lasted only fifteen to twenty minutes and that Howard didn't ask for any details about her medical history or previous therapy sessions. She thought that she had reached a point where using medication made sense and she was ready to argue her case. The former patient stated, "It generally seems to be a very controlled process. Even the psychiatrist will do counseling beforehand before prescribing meds."
Howard's cash-based business started in Colorado in 2003 according to Authorities. Documents from the state show that the business ended with a license suspension in 2019 under the suspicion of overprescribing medications.
His former patient says, "It was probably a few weeks after the last visit I got a call from him, and he said ‘I just wanted to let you know I retired. Good luck finding another doctor."
A federal indictment details the case authorities were building against him two years later, identifying sixteen patients who in a matter of months received more than 10,000 Adderal pills and thousands of Desoxn pills which is the official name for methamphetamine.
Investigators say that Howard failed to use Colorado's prescription drug monitoring program or evaluate patients.
Doctors who are allowed to essentially run pill mills is only adding to the epidemic of opioid abuse. According to Representative Dafna Michaelson Jenet, “An appropriately operating PDMP (Prescription Drug Monitoring Program) will stop doctors from overprescribing and keep people from falling into this epidemic."
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