- Associated Press - Thursday, March 24, 2016

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

The board unanimously voted to suspend the license of anesthesiologist Dr. Michael Cozzi for 90 days while a state investigation continues. The action came two days after Cozzi was charged with felony possession of a narcotic after federal agents raided his two homes and office.

Authorities say Cozzi prescribed controlled substances to 1,700 different people. The prescriptions include 2 million dosage units of Oxycodone and 1.2 million dosage units of hydrocodone.

Board member Dr. Bharat Barai said he did not think it was “reasonable care” for Cozzi to see 80 to 100 patients a day and prescribe controlled substances to nearly all of them.

A Drug Enforcement Administration investigation revealed that Cozzi prescribed more controlled substances than any other prescriber in Indiana from January 2014 to February 2016, including 2 million doses of Oxycodone and 1.2 million doses of hydrocodone, the Indiana Attorney General’s Office said.

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.

Cozzi’s attorney, Mark Paul Smith, told the board there’s no way to tell definitively how the patients died.

The Attorney General’s Office was conducting a smear campaign against the doctor and was relying on disgruntled drug-seeking patients who the doctor turned away, Smith said.

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