Tampa, FL (Law Firm Newswire) January 31, 2017 – A former Florida physician who had ten patients die from drug overdoses was sentenced to two years in federal prison.
“Doctors are entrusted with the health and safety of their patients, and they have to be held responsible when they violate that trust,” said Robert Joyce, a Tampa pharmaceutical negligence attorney with Joyce & Reyes. “Physicians who are negligent in prescribing dangerous medications may face civil liability as well as criminal charges.”
Russell Sachs, a former pain-management doctor, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Brian Davis. The judge said that the deaths of ten of Sachs’ patients, as well as the fact that he had sex with eight of his female patients, meant that the judge was justified in rejecting advisory sentencing guidelines recommending a six-month prison sentence. Davis said that Sachs prescribed drugs with no medical reason and was operating a “pill mill.”
In June 2016, Sachs pleaded guilty to a single count of prescribing substances without a legitimate medical purpose. Under a plea agreement, three additional charges were dropped. Sachs faced up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Davis did not impose a fine but ordered that Sachs pay $12,500 in restitution to one of his patients.
Sachs owned and operated a Florida pain management clinic and was accused of illegally distributing Dilaudid, Soma, Xanax, oxycodone, clonazepam and morphine. At his 2015 arraignment, prosecutors said that it was not uncommon for Sachs to see 70 patients per day, with most paying cash for their prescriptions and drugs.
Under Sachs’ plea agreement, he pleaded guilty to distributing clonazepam without a legitimate medical purpose, and agreed to help authorities with the prosecution of others. He must report to prison by March 8.
Learn more at http://www.joyceandreyespa.com
Joyce and Reyes Law Firm, P.A.
307 S Hyde Park Ave
Tampa, FL 33606
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