Marietta Doctor Sentenced To Eight Years In Prison For Illegally Distributing Opioids

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COLUMBUS, Ohio – A Marietta doctor was sentenced in U.S. District Court Friday to eight years in prison for illegally prescribing opioids and other controlled substances and defrauding health care programs.

A federal jury convicted Roger D. Anderson, 66, last March on one count of conspiring to distribute controlled substances, eight counts of illegal dispensing of controlled substances and one count of committing health care fraud.

Anderson owned and operated Marietta Medical, which was located on Putnam Street.

According to court documents and trial testimony, between January 2012 and March 2016, Anderson conspired with others to distribute opioids like oxycodone and hydrocodone outside the scope of medical practice and without a legitimate medical purpose.

Anderson pre-signed prescriptions for staff to complete and distribute to patients in his absence. Prescriptions were given to patients on days that Anderson did not examine them and by staff who were not legally qualified to give prescriptions. The drugs were distributed at a kiosk after hours inside the office complex Putnam Commons.

Anderson prescribed dangerous combinations of controlled substances, including those known as Holy Trinity (an opioid, a benzodiazepine and a muscle relaxant) and Speedballs (a stimulant and an opioid).

One patient received four prescriptions in the same day for 10 fentanyl patches, 120 Xanax pills, 180 Oxycodone pills and 180 pills of the acetaminophen-hydrocodone mix Norco. On that same day, the patient already had two other overlapping prescriptions for fentanyl issued by Anderson.

Anderson also conspired to and committed health care fraud, defrauding the Ohio Medicaid and Medicare programs. Anderson caused the submission of claims for controlled substances that were prescribed in violation of federal law.

“Anderson ignored blatant red flags that his patients were abusing and diverting the opioids he prescribed,” U.S. Attorney David DeVillers said. “He prescribed opioids and benzodiazepines to a pregnant patient and was banned by pharmacies. Today’s sentence is another reminder that if you act like a drug dealer, we will prosecute you like one.”