Indian-origin doctor arrested for illegally prescribing opioids in US
A 71-year old Indian-origin physician has been arrested and charged with illegally prescribing opioids to patients outside the usual course of his professional practice in the US. Sawtantra Kumar Chopra of California was arrested from his home in Modesto. A federal grand jury in Fresno brought a 22-count indictment against him, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said in a statement.
Chopra can face maximum 20-year federal prison sentence
If convicted, Chopra faces maximum statutory penalty of 20 years in prison. "Doctors who abuse their position of trust and fuel opioid epidemic for profit will be held responsible. Prescription drug abuse is a serious public health crisis that harms communities throughout California," Becerra said.
Chopra prescribed illegal drugs on 22 occasions
According to the indictment, between March 2017 and March 2018, on 22 occasions Chopra prescribed highly addictive, commonly abused prescription drugs, including hydrocodone, alprazolam and promethazine with codeine syrup outside the usual course of the professional practice and not for a legitimate medical purpose. These controlled substances affect the central nervous system and may only be prescribed when medically required, the statement said.