The U.S. Attorney’s Office has issued sentencing in the case of Verna Mae Lewis, a doctor who was found guilty of recklessly overprescribing schedule II drugs. The 70-year-old pleaded guilty, and as part of that agreement has had all medical licenses and registrations revoked, never to be reinstated.
According to U.S. Attorney Christopher R. Kavanaugh, “Ms. Lewis violated her patients’ trust by placing her own greed before their very real needs.”
Lewis prescribed high dosages of morphine, oxycodone, and hydromorphone without medical justification, medical examination, supporting records, diagnostic studies, and in direct defiance of guidelines laid out by the U.S. Centers For Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and the Virginia Board of Medicine.
Lewis prescribed opioids to patients with a history of substance abuse, overdoses, and illicit drug use. According to the U.S. Attorneys, Lewis made $523,000 from illegally overprescribing opioids to patients who didn’t need them or were at high risk to abuse them.
Lewis was sentenced to three years in jail, $10,000 in fines, and $500,000 in forfeiture amounts. Kavanaugh said, “this significant sentence sends a strong message that our office will continue to investigate and prosecute any in the health care system who seek to illegally profit from the opioid crisis.”
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