A local physician, already charged for what federal prosecutors say was a widespread illegal distribution of painkiller prescriptions, faces additional charges. Federal authorities on Wednesday morning announced a 166-count superseding indictment against Dr. Eugene Gosy.
Gosy, a 56-year-old Clarence resident, already faced 114 counts of illegally distributing narcotics, committing healthcare fraud and conspiring to commit healthcare fraud. Now, federal authorities are linking the alleged actions from his Amherst-based practice over a ten-year period to six patient deaths.
The updated 166-count indictment charges Gosy with the following:
- One count of unlawfully conspiring to distribute and dispense, and to cause to be distributed and dispensed controlled substances, other than for a legitimate medical purpose and not in the usual course of professional practice, resulting in the death of six (6) of his patients;
- Three counts of unlawfully distributing and dispensing controlled substances, including fentanyl, oxycodone, and tapentadol, each resulting in the death of a patient;
- 144 counts of unlawfully distributing and dispensing controlled substances, other than for a legitimate medical purpose and not in the usual course of professional practice;
- Two counts of conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud; and
- 16 counts of healthcare fraud.
"Today, we're facing the deadliest drug crisis in American history," said Acting U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy. "Sixty-four thousand dies last year from drug overdoses. For Americans under the age of 50, drug overdoses are now the leading cause of death and the DEA tells us that 80 percent of opioid addictions - 80 percent - start with prescription drug abuse."
The Drug Enforcement Administration is just one of several federal departments investigating the case in partnership with the U.S. Attorney's Office. Also involved are the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Office of Inspector General, Health and Human Services Inspector General's New York Office, Army National Guard, New York State Department of Financial Services, New York State Office of Workers' Compensation Fraud Inspector General and the New York State Bureau of Narcotics Enforcement.
FBI Special Agent-In-Charge Adam Cohen explained that since last year, federal authorities have united and focused their efforts to combat opioid addiction by going after "gatekeepers," including medical practitioners who unlawfully prescribe controlled substances.
"I encourage the public to contact the FBI to assist in identifying medical professionals and pharmacies who divert opioids outside of the scope of their medical practice and/or distribute medications without any legitimate medical purposes," Cohen said.
Gosy could face 20 years to life in prison if convicted of the count related to six patient deaths. He remains free and, according to federal officials, has been allowed to continue practicing medicine under close supervision, but can no longer prescribe narcotics.