Munster doctor gets 15 months for improperly prescribing opioids

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A doctor in northwest Indiana has been sentenced to prison after pleading guilty to prescribing opioids for non-medical reasons.

Jay Kaushik Joshi, 34, of Woodridge, was sentenced to 15 months in prison, 3 years of supervision and a $7,000 fine for dispensing hydrocodone outside the scope of practice, the U.S. attorney’s office of the Northern District of Indiana said in a statement.

Joshi allegedly prescribed opioids to an undercover agent in his medical practice at Prestige Clinics in Munster, according to the Post-Tribune.

The Drug Enforcement Administration and Munster police learned that Joshi issued over 6,000 prescriptions for controlled substance between April 2017 and Nov. 21, 2017, prosecutors said.

Investigators used Indiana’s prescription monitoring system INSPECT to determine that Joshi prescribed the most controlled substances of any doctor in Lake County, and the ninth-most in Indiana, prosecutors said.

An undercover DEA agent posing as a truck driver made four appointments with Joshi in 2017, the Post-Tribune reported. The agent said he had leg cramps and sought a prescription. Joshi, without examining or touching the patient, prescribed the patient painkillers.

Prosecutors said the agent “demonstrated all the classic signs” of seeking a prescription, according to the Post-Tribune.

“Prescribing controlled substances that are not medically necessary intensify the opioid problem our nation faces,” U.S. Attorney Thomas Kirsch said in the statement.

Joshi’s medical license was suspended in February 2018, prosecutors said.

The case involved the DEA, Muster police and Indiana State Police.

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