- Associated Press - Tuesday, April 21, 2015

BOISE, Idaho (AP) - An Idaho doctor ordered to quit practicing medicine last June is facing 34 new federal charges that he gave patients pain medication without a valid medical reason.

Prosecutors charged Michael Minas, 49, of Eagle with prescribing 2,280 tablets of oxycodone to one patient over two years and 4,720 pills to a second patient over eight months, the Idaho Statesman reports (https://bit.ly/1DylPXL).

Those charges were added to 17 original charges Minas faced last summer and 95 more that federal prosecutors added in November. Minas faces a total of 146 counts of distribution of a controlled substance.

He agreed in October to plead guilty to three of 17 charges. But he later changed his mind and said he was innocent.

His arraignment is scheduled for 10 a.m. Thursday in federal court. He faces up to 20 years in prison on each felony charge and a maximum fine of $1 million.

The 17 counts from last June say that Minas, who ran River Medical Family Practice, gave prescriptions for oxycodone and an anti-anxiety drug to three undercover officers.

Prosecutors said Minas didn’t follow accepted practices in dispensing pain medication and gave out pills with minimal or no patient evaluation. Prosecutors also said he started patients at high does and increased the dosage without a legitimate reason.

Court documents also said that Minas offered minimal alternatives, if any, besides pills and didn’t alert patients to the risk of becoming dependent on the drugs.

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Information from: Idaho Statesman, https://www.idahostatesman.com


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