A doctor in New York was charged with murder for overprescribing opioid medication to patients.
Dr. George Blatti of Long Island was charged with second-degree murder based on the theory of depraved indifference to human life, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). This charge is the first of its kind in New York. He pleaded not guilty at his arraignment Thursday.
Blatti was a general practitioner who didn’t specialize in pain management, according to the DEA. He surrendered his medical license when he was indicted in 2019 on several related charges.
Dr. George Blatti sold paper prescriptions for cash to anyone who could afford them, without doing any medical exams.https://t.co/muzx21DqNn
— News12LI (@News12LI) October 31, 2019
Prosecutors said he wrote prescriptions for patients without examining them at all. The doctor’s prescribing practices led to the eventual death and overdose of five patients, according to Nassau County Police Department Investigators.
“This doctor’s prescription pad was as lethal as any murder weapon,” the Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas said. (RELATED: Authorities Bust ‘Opioid Landmine’ Worth Roughly $12 Million)
Blatti would also meet up with customers at a local Dunkin Donuts and sell them drugs out of the trunk of his car, officials said. Among the drugs were Roxicodone, Methadone Adderall, and Dilaudid.
“Defendant Blatti gave no consideration of an individual’s pain management or addiction history and selfishly for financial gain, abused his position which ultimately ruined many lives,” said Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder in the 2019 press release detailing his indictment. “I congratulate the investigators of the NCPD Asset Forfeiture Unit, the District Attorney’s Office, and the DEA for their dedication and hard work to bring Defendant Blatti to justice.”