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."
You can send Marianne an email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
News releases are available at www.usdoj.gov/usao/ks/press.html
Contact: Jim Cross
Oct. 20, 2010
HAYSVILLE DOCTOR AND WIFE SENTENCED IN DEADLY PRESCRIPTION OVERDOSES
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.