A.G. Schneiderman announces arrest of Youngstown doctorby jmaloni
A.G.: ER doctor Gillick allegedly sold prescriptions for Lortab to Medicaid recipient, who then returned half the meds to Gillick
Schneiderman: My office will punish doctors who abuse their power and fuel the prescription drug abuse problem to the fullest extent of the law
Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today announced the arrest and arraignment of Daniel C. Gillick, a Youngstown doctor who allegedly sold prescriptions for a controlled substance to a Medicaid recipient, in exchange for the recipient returning half of the medication prescribed to him for each prescription.
"Prescription drug abuse is an epidemic in our state - one that ruins lives, devastates families and tears communities apart - and it's something doctors should be working to help us combat," Schneiderman said. "Instead, Daniel Gillick used his position to perpetuate the problem. With the help of groundbreaking programs like I-STOP, my office will continue to make an example of doctors like Gillick, and send the message that this won't be tolerated. In doing so, we will put New York one step closer to eradicating prescription drug abuse once and for all."
In August, Schneiderman's "Internet System for Tracking Over-Prescribing," or I-STOP, took effect. The goal of I-STOP is to enable doctors and pharmacists to provide prescription pain medications and other controlled substances to patients who truly need them. At the same time, it will arm them with the necessary data to detect potentially dangerous drug interactions, identify patterns of abuse by patients, doctors and pharmacists, help those who suffer from crippling addictions, and prevent potential addiction before it starts.
Between June and September 2010, Gillick, an emergency room doctor, wrote prescriptions for Lortab for a hydrocodone-dependent Medicaid recipient who, in turn, returned half of the Lortab tablets to Gillick each time he filled a prescription. The recipient confirmed he had never received a medical examination or treatment from Gillick, and that he had returned half of the Lortabs to Gillick. The recipient also admitted using his Medicaid prescription coverage to fill the prescriptions at local pharmacies.
Gillick, 63, was charged with criminal sale of a prescription for a controlled substance (a class "C" felony) before Judge Sara Sheldon Farkas in Niagara County Court. He was released on his own recognizance.
Investigator James Zablonski and Principal Auditor Jerome Higgins assisted in the investigation. Special Assistant Attorney General Laurie Frank, of the Buffalo regional office of the attorney general's Medicaid fraud control unit, prosecuted the case, under the supervision of MFCU Regional Director Gary Baldauf, Acting MFCU Director Amy Held, and Executive Deputy Attorney General of the Division of Criminal Justice Kelly Donovan.
The charges against the defendant are accusations and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless he is proven guilty in a court of law.