Physician assistant convicted for illegal sale of painkillers

A New York physician assistant faces a five-year prison sentence after pleading guilty to conspiring to illegally distribute the painkiller oxycodone.

Michael Troyan, 38, was ordered to forfeit the $710,000 he made in the drug sales. He must also serve three years of supervised release. His physician assistant license was listed as inactive on the New York State Department of Health records at the time of his sentencing.

According to federal prosecutors, from 2011 to 2015 Troyan distributed more than 70,000 pills, which were later sold illegally. Officials said an investigation was launched when an unnamed surgeon reported Troyan as a possible drug dealer. He was caught after an undercover investigation videotaped him receiving large quantities of cash in exchange for fake oxycodone prescriptions at his Riverhead office.

The licenses of physician assistants can be affected by alleged misconduct in the workplace. The Office of Professional Medical Conduct investigates all complaints about physician assistants. The office has the power to impose professional discipline through fines or license suspensions or revocations.

The consequences can be even more acute with a criminal conviction. Factors such as whether the physician assistant’s criminal conduct compromised patient care and whether the behavior was isolated or recurrent all affect the severity of the punishment.

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