2 UPMC radiologists charged with illegally prescribing Vicodin to non-patients

A pair of University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) radiologists have been charged with prescribing controlled substances to non-patients over the course of two years, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has reported.

Omar Almusa, 45, and Marios Papachristou, 43, are also professors in the department of radiology, emergency and teleradiology at the University of Pittsburgh, according to the report. The doctors were charged with prescribing hydrocodone-acetaminophen—more commonly known as Vicodin, Lortab or Norco—and conspiring to provide the drugs for each others’ friends or family members.

Police first received a complaint Feb. 15 that Almusa was prescribing a pain reliever to non-patients, the Post-Gazette wrote. After reviewing each doctor’s Prescription Drug Monitoring Program report, authorities found that Papachristou had prescribed 3,600 pills of hydrocodone-acetaminophen to two non-patients between Jan. 1, 2016, and last week, and Almusa had prescribed nearly 6,000 pills of the same drug to three non-patients within that time frame.

Almusa appeared to be prescribing pills to Papachristou’s spouse, police said, and that Papachristou was doing the same for a family member and friend of Almusa’s.

The radiologists are expected in court March 15 for a preliminary hearing.

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