In 2011, indictments were filed against 53 people including Norman M. Werther, MD for oxycodone distribution. Dr. Werther was a 71-y/o family physician in Willow Grove, PA at that time. He was indicted for allegedly accepting 31 “pseudo patients” and giving them “cursory” physical exams.
Okay. Try to explain to me what a “pseudo patient” is. If a live person enters a doctor’s office with a complaint and the doctor sees him, he is a patient. There is no “pseudo” about it. I believe they used that word to add prejudice against Dr. Werther, and the media jumped on it. Also, what is a “cursory” exam? It is well known in the medical field that diagnosis and treatment is primarily based on a patient’s history. The physical exam is simply a tool to substantiate what the doctor already knows and has decided. In the case of heart disease, the number 1 cause of death in America, doctors are not being charged with “cursory” exams. In fact, most of the time patients have their medications refilled without the doctor even laying hands on them. So why is pain management, a subjective condition for the most part in conventional medicine, being treated any differently? It shouldn’t be. But the government is using pain management to charge doctors with breaking the CSA in order to confiscate their assets. Or, in the Appalachian regions of the country, the US Attorney’s offices have people assigned whose job it is to simply go after doctors. So they target the easiest ones, generally solo practice family practitioners not owned by a hospital. That takes out the competition since the hospitals and governments are working together to control our health and therefore our lives. A real doctor, down in the country doing real medicine doesn’t have a chance, and the government knows it. Piece of cake.
Anyway, Dr. Werther was made to look bad for charging $150 for an office visit. That is cheap, compared to some of the hospital-owned clinics that charge up to $400 per visit, and then only accept patients with insurance (or like the expert witness the government used in my case—Dr. Marc Swanson, MD in Roanoke, VA).
Another article in the media really jumped on the sensationalism bandwagon with the following intro to their story:
“FEDERAL PROSECUTORS yesterday put the kibosh on a conspiracy that used phony patients and phony prescriptions to distribute more than 200,000 oxycodone pills on the streets of Philadelphia between September 2009 and last month.
What happened to innocent until proven guilty? Here, Dr. Werther is found guilty of the charges by the press even before trial. But that is part of the problem. Americans generally believe that a person wouldn’t be charged if they weren’t guilty. They don’t understand the purpose of the Justice Department today:
- Support the government agenda of blaming the pills and doctors for addiction so they can confiscate their assets.
- Support the jobs and income of Justice Department workers assigned to attack doctors.
- Fill the prisons to support the jobs in and budget of the FBOP. (Federal Bureau of Prisons).
According to the press, Dr. Werther was involved in a conspiracy with a pharmacist, Ihsanullah Maaf, and an alleged Philadelphia drug trafficker, William Stukes, who provided the patients, to the tune of $5 million. Also, the US Attorney claimed that there was no medical need for these patients to be treated. Ah!!! Now we have some law-breaking. Since when do US Attorneys have a medical degree and can declare a patient without medical need? Sounds like they should be charged with practicing medicine without a license.
According to the government, Dr. Werther’s office staff was involved in the transportation of these patients to and from the office and pharmacy. I find that hard to believe, as most medical offices have just enough staff for the responsibilities of the clinic, not to be chauffeurs.
Especially since, during the trial, “the attorney, David M. Laigaie, asserted that Werther unknowingly inherited the dealers and their patients when he bought the pain-management practice from a former Philadelphia orthopedic surgeon in 2008. The drug traffickers then coached patients what to tell the doctor to get a prescription, bribed and “co-opted” members of Werther’s staff and enlisted them to create false records.
“The groups and their patients went to great lengths to deceive Dr. Werther,” Laigaie said.
Dozens of others were charged in the case, but nearly all have pleaded guilty and many agreed to cooperate.”
So where in all this, is the doctor doing something “knowingly and intentionally”, as is required to be convicted of a criminal action?
And then to top it off, one castigating, sensationalism-filled article ends with:
“Oxycodone is a frequently abused prescription drug often prescribed under the brand name OxyContin and is used to treat severe pain.”
Now that is done simply to prejudice the population against Dr. Werther because of the notoriety in the press over OxyContin, and the bad name (undeservedly so) it has as a culprit in causing addiction.
The article then compared the three men to “street dealers”. However, there is no mention in the indictment of Dr. Werther standing out on the corner exchanging pills for money. That is what is supposed to be, according to the intent of the CSA. But the Justice Department has, by its own abuse of power, created an extension of the CSA to include the legitimate prescribing of a controlled drug to a legitimate patient as a crime.
It is my proposal that it is this action of the Justice Department that has increased the abuse of opiates in this country, not the legal, legitimate prescribing of pain medication. If a patient comes to a doctor under false pretenses to get drugs for an addiction, there are laws he should be charged with. But as in my case, when I reported these “pseudo” patients to the law enforcement agents in the area, they couldn’t care less and nothing was done. Why? There’s no money to be made going after real criminals. So law enforcement now can target whomever they want to make money.
In the end, Dr. Werther went to trial and was convicted of one count of distribution resulting in death, 184 counts of illegally distributing oxycodone, 116 counts of money laundering, six counts of conspiracy to distribute controlled substances, and one count of maintaining a drug-involved premises (which of course, gives all his assets to the government, the goal of the proceedings.) He was sentenced to 25 years. Dr. Werther died in prison on October 14, 2015. His obituary read:
“He was a dedicated physician of Family Medicine for over 30 years in Abington and was loved by his patients. He was a good and caring friend to so many people.”
The record of this, in my opinion, good, caring physician needs to be cleared posthumously. But in any case, the corrupt officials that brought this disgrace on will be judged by God someday.
The pharmacist, Ihsanullah Maaf, was also convicted. No real information is available as to his charges or sentence, but he was released from prison on 10/30/15.
William Stukes, the actual criminal in this case, was convicted and sentenced. He is currently housed at Allenwood Medium FCI and is due for release on 8/7/31.
Again, this case shows that the government is not interested in punishing the criminal, but in confiscating assets. Does anyone know—do federal attorneys get a monetary reward as a bonus based on the moneys they confiscate? If you know, please tell me.