Doctor Gets 20 years in Opioids Drug Trial
West Virginia Doctor Sentenced to 20 Years for Improperly Prescribing Opioids
August 28, 2017
A physician in West Virginia has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for improperly prescribing oxycodone, the powerful opioid painkiller, to his patients.
Dr. Michael Kostenko, who worked in Raleigh County, West Virginia, was also ordered to pay a $50,000 fine and faces five years of supervised release.
Kostenko admitted to distributing oxycodone in December 2013 to 217 patients, pocketing more than $20,000 in cash from the illicit sales. On a single day, he is alleged to have written 370 prescriptions, for a total of more than 22,000 pills. He also is alleged to have prescribed opioids to patients with known drug problems.
Rural and impoverished areas such as West Virginia have been hit especially hard by the opioid epidemic, which claims the lives of approximately 30,000 Americans every year. Numerous states and cities have filed suits against drugmakers for the roles in furthering the crisis.
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