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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

PainKillers - Killed your children. Who do we blame?

Who do we blame for painkillers, killing our children?

Do we blame the doctor's who prescribed the medication? (recommended poison)

Do we blame the pharmaceutical company that made the gun and the bullets?

Do we blame the pharmacies for selling the drugs? (selling the guns and bullets)

Do we blame the parents for supplying their children with the money or insurance to purchase the drugs?

Blaming your children for dying because they took to many drugs you bought them, is an argument that should never have to be made.

In my blog, I have previously wrote to you about, Dr. Nathan Kuemmerle, who was arrested for possible over prescribing drugs to his patients. Well guess what?  Dr. Nathan Kuemmerle is not the only medical doctor who prescribed drugs to his patients, that may have contributed to his patients over dosing and dying.

You may or may not know about another MD in Kansas, who along with his wife ( a registered nurse) were responsible for the overdose deaths of at least 68 children, from pain killer medication. They call the duo "the doctor wife conspiracy", but prosecutors say no matter what you call it, what Dr. Stephen Schneider and his wife, Linda, did was against the law.

Now appealing their convictions in a case highlighting the medical treatment of chronic pain sufferers and prescription drug abuse.

If a jury does not know that taking prescription drugs may kill you, then they are already brain dead. Its like saying, I did not know a loaded gun is dangerous. (One potential juror was excused because he indicated in his questionnaire that he already formed opinions.)

A jury sent the couple to jail for conspiring to profit from illegally prescribing painkillers at a clinic linked to 107 overdoses, 68 of them deadly.

Dr. Stephen Schneider MD, 56, ran the Schneider Medical clinic near Wichita, Kansas. His wife Linda Schneider worked as a nurse.

Linda Schneider's lawyer said this of his client, which is a great description of the epidemic."Most doctors will look at this and think ... 'I am board certified. I have been trained. I can trust all my patients,"' Byers said. "And then the DEA comes through kicking their door, in ninja masks, guns in their faces - and they go away for 20 to life."

The Schneiders are involved in the blame game, which they are part of by default. While the blame could go to anyone of a number of guilty people such as the parents, the pharmaceutical companies, the pharmacies, the doctors. Take your pick as they are all guilty in my eyes. (We sometimes refer to them as enablers)

U.S. Attorney Lanny Welch had little sympathy for the Schneiders.
"The abuse of prescription drugs is a serious national public health concern," he said in a statement. "The evidence in this case of patients suffering from overdose and death points to the fact that when prescription painkillers are unlawfully prescribed, they can be as dangerous as illegal drugs."

Assistant U.S. Attorney Tanya Treadway said Stephen and Linda Schneider illegally prescribed painkillers that led to fatal overdoses of 68 patients. The couple is directly charged with contributing to the deaths of 21 people.

Approximately 100 potential jurors have been summoned to the federal courthouse in Wichita, after completing lengthy pre-trial questionnaires. ( The problem is that the jurors are just as guilty as the parents who ignorintly get their children hooked on prescription drugs at an early age. While you may call it brainwashing, or misinformation of the public with billions of dollars in advertising by the pharmaceutical industry that their drugs are safe, we see that this is simply not true)

U.S. District Judge Monti Belot is the Schneider case Judge.
Lawrence Williamson, one of the Schneiders' lawyers asked:
Would you automatically turn against Dr. Schneider if he was told 68 patients died while in Schneider's care?

What did Linda Schneider do wrong?
Linda Schneider is also charged with signing her husband's name on prescriptions when he wasn't in the office.

How quickly did children start dieing?
The same year the clinic opened, prosecutors say, patients began to die from overdoses of painkillers.
Prosecutors say the Schneider Clinic did not change its course of treatment and practices, despite the deaths.
The indictment claims the Schneider Clinic refilled prescriptions earlier and more often than they were suppose to and would continue to give dangerous mixes of narcotics amid signs that the drugs were making the patients worse.

This case should scare other doctors and hospitals who prescribe the same medications.
Other doctors and hospitals took notice."The abuse of prescription drugs is a serious national public health concern," U.S. Attorney Lanny Welch said in a statement

During the six years the Schneider clinic operated, prosecutors say, it billed more than $10 million for drugs and services. 

This article written as a voice for Heather M, age 28, died February 9, 2002.
=========================================== Reporter Marianne Skolek, is an Activist for Victims of OxyContin throughout the United States and Canada. In July 2007, she testified against Purdue Pharma in Federal Court in Virginia at the sentencing of their three CEO's who pled guilty to charges of marketing OxyContin as less likely to be addictive or abused to physicians and patients. She also testified against Purdue Pharma at a Judiciary Hearing of the U.S. Senate in July 2007. Marianne works with government agencies and private attorneys in having a voice for her daughter Jill, who died in 2002 after being prescribed OxyContin, as well as the voice for scores of victims of OxyContin. She has been involved in her work for the past 7-1/2 years and is currently working on a book that exposes Purdue Pharma for their continued criminal marketing of OxyContin.
Marianne is a nurse having graduated in 1991 as president of her graduating class.
You can send Marianne an email at:

News releases are available at

Contact: Jim Cross
PHONE: 316-269-6481
FAX:      316-269-6420
Oct. 20, 2010
WICHITA, KAN. – A Haysville, Kan., physician and his wife have been sentenced to federal prison for illegally distributing prescription pain killers to patients who overdosed on them, U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom said today.

Stephen J. Schneider, 57, was sentenced to 30 years. His wife, Linda K. Schneider, 52, was sentenced to 33 years in federal prison. U.S. District Judge Monti L. Belot pronounced sentence during a hearing in U.S. District Court in Wichita.
“The Schneiders put money before medicine,” U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom said. “They illegally dispensed prescription pain killers without a medical purpose and without regard to the fact their patients were suffering from physical and mental conditions that made them vulnerable to the risks of addiction, overdose and death.”
“Judge Belot described it well,” Grissom added, “when he called it the story of an avoidable tragedy motivated by greed.”

In June 2010, after a trial that lasted eight weeks, a jury returned guilty verdicts against the Schneiders on charges including conspiracy, unlawful distribution of controlled substances, health care fraud and money laundering. They were taken into custody pending sentencing.
The government’s case focused on 21 of 68 patients who died of drug overdoses, and examined how the Schneiders illegally dispensed controlled prescription drugs, including Oxycodone (Oxycontin, Percocet), Fentanyl (Actiq, Duragesic), Morphine (Avinza), Methadone, Hydrocodone (Lortab), Diazepam (Valium), Alprazolam (Xanax), and Clonazepam (Klonopin).
During trial, the government’s case centered on the years from 2002 to 2008, when Stephen Schneider saw patients and Linda Schneider, a licensed practical nurse, managed the business of Schneider Medical Clinic at 7030 S. Broadway in Haysville. Prosecutors presented evidence that the Schneiders billed more than $4 million to Medicaid and other health insurance providers while they operated the clinic unlawfully, distributing controlled substances without a legitimate medical purpose, falsifying insurance claims, and engaging in unlawful financial transactions with the proceeds of the crimes.
The jury convicted Stephen Schneider on the following counts:
– one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud (count one)
– four counts of unlawful distribution of controlled substances resulting the death of a patient (counts 2, 3, 4 and 5)
– one count of unlawfully distributing controlled substances, (count 6)
– three counts of health care fraud resulting in a death (counts 7, 8 and 9)
– eight counts of submitting false claims to Medicaid and private insurers (10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17)
– two counts of money laundering (counts 26 and 28).
Stephen Schneider was acquitted on 15 money laundering counts (counts 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 27, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33 and 34).
The jury convicted Linda Schneider on the following counts:
– one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud (count one)
– four counts of aiding and abetting unlawful distribution of controlled substances resulting the death of a patient (counts 2, 3, 4 and 5)
– one count of aiding and abetting unlawfully distributing controlled substances, (counts 6)
– three counts of health care fraud unlawfully resulting in a death (counts 7, 8 and 9)
– eight counts of aiding and abetting submitting false claims to Medicaid and private insurers (counts 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16 and 17)
– Fifteen counts of money laundering (counts 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34).
Linda Schneider was acquitted on two money laundering counts (counts 23 and 24)

Grissom commended the following agencies and individuals who worked on the case: The Department of Health and Human Services, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Kansas Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud and Abuse Division, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the Kansas Bureau of Investigation, and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Tanya Treadway, Jon P. Fleenor, and Special Assistant United States Attorney Jabari Wamble, who prosecuted the case.


What kind of spin do the guilty put on the issues? Byers blamed the prosecutions nationwide of doctors such as Schneider on policy differences over opioid medications between the Food and Drug Administration that has approved them for pain and the Drug Enforcement Administration, which enforces the Controlled Substances Act. "It is a battle between the DEA and FDA – and the doctors are all the casualties," Byers said. Byers said he has talked to other doctors whose clinics were recently raided by the DEA. Along with conspiracy, the Schneiders were found guilty of five counts of unlawfully writing prescriptions and 11 charges of health care fraud. They also faced 17 money laundering counts. Stephen Schneider was found guilty on two of those counts; Linda Schneider was found guilty of 15 money laundering charges. The government is seeking forfeiture of their assets, but it will be up to the judge to later decide the amount. No sentencing date has been set. Each faces up to a life sentence, with the most serious counts carrying a minimum of 20 years in prison. Jurors deliberated for seven days before concluding the doctor had prescribed controlled substances to 68 patients who eventually died. They also found the doctor's prescriptions led to 107 overdoses at local emergency rooms. The jury further determined that the Schneiders failed to change the clinic's prescription practices despite having notice of overdoses and deaths from the medical examiner, hospitals, law enforcement family members and others. The doctor turned to face his wife in apparent surprise when the first guilty verdict on conspiracy to commit health care fraud was read. Both then stared down despondently as the rest of the 17-page verdict form was read. The doctor appeared stoic when his wife tearfully told her parents and teenage daughters in the gallery that she couldn't go with them as U.S. District Judge Monti Belot cleared the courtroom. The family left without commenting to reporters. The doctor's attorney, Lawrence Williamson, said after the verdict that it was "a sad day for our justice system." "Dr. Schneider was practicing medicine – he wasn't being a drug dealer," Williamson said. Siobhan Reynolds, president of the Pain Relief Network, has championed the Schneiders' case. She contends the prosecution of doctors who prescribe high doses of pain relievers is leading to undertreatment of chronic pain. "The crisis in pain treatment is going to deepen even further," Reynolds said outside the courtroom. "People are going to have trouble getting care because doctors are afraid this is going to happen to them."  What pharmaceutical company is funding the pain relief network, and should all medical doctors be worried? Yes, all medical doctors should be worried, because none can watch or trust their patients to take the proper amount of drugs. Sadly, the medical doctors are not through killing our children. Dr. Sober Companion   

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