- Associated Press - Thursday, May 26, 2016

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - The Indiana Medical Licensing Board extended the suspension Thursday of a Fort Wayne doctor facing a felony drug charge in connection with prescriptions for addictive pain killers.

The panel suspended the license of anesthesiologist Dr. Michael Cozzi for another 90 days. It initially suspended the anesthesiologist’s license in March.

Cozzi has changed attorneys and his new lawyer needs time to prepare before a full disciplinary hearing, Deputy Attorney General Jessica Krug told The Journal Gazette (http://bit.ly/1WPLJF0 ).

Cozzi, who operated the Fort Wayne Interventional Pain Management Clinic, issued the most prescriptions for controlled substances in the state two years in a row.

About 90 percent of Cozzi’s prescriptions were for narcotics containing controlled substances, including 2 million dosage units of the highly addictive oxycodone and 1.2 million dosage units of hydrocodone, court documents filed by the Attorney General’s Office state. Oxycodone is found in OxyContin and other opioid pain medications.

During one month, Cozzi prescribed controlled substances to about 1,700 patients, seeing 90 to 100 patients per day, the office said. Three of Cozzi’s patients died due to complications of this drug use, it said.

Board members then questioned how thorough Cozzi could be seeing the high volume of patients he had, and noted he sometimes ignored a pain management contract patients are required to sign by continuing to prescribe controlled substances when they have violated the terms.

Cozzi’s home and office were raided in March. He initially was arrested on a preliminary charge of drug possession but prosecutors dropped the charge days later.

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Information from: The Journal Gazette, http://www.journalgazette.net

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