Source: Hackettstown NJ Patch
Dr. George Beecher, an ear, nose and throat specialist in Warren, has surrendered his medical licenses and was sentenced to 10 years in state prison after pleading guilty to second-degree charges of conspiracy and distribution of oxycodone.
Beecher, a 78-year-old resident of New Providence, is the latest New Jersey doctor to have his license revoked, or to face similar sanctions, after prescribing opioids and other drugs that put patients at risk, state officials say.
The charges were the result of Operation Busted Script, an investigation by the Attorney General’s Prescription Fraud Investigation Strike Team, consisting of detectives and attorneys in the Division of Criminal Justice Gangs & Organized Crime Bureau who targets corrupt healthcare professionals and “pill mills.”
The investigation revealed that Beecher, in order to supply the drug ring, wrote prescriptions without a legitimate medical purpose for tens of thousands of 30mg oxycodone pills in the names of people he never examined, treated, or even met, according to a press release from the Office of Attorney General.
“The doctor-patient relationship is rooted in trust, a trust that is undermined when doctors abandon their professional ethics in pursuit of self-serving criminal activities,” said Paul R. Rodríguez, acting director of the Division of Consumer Affairs.
“We believe the vast majority of physicians in this state uphold the highest standards of practice. By bringing enforcement actions such as these, we are protecting the public as well as the integrity of the medical profession.”
At least 13 New Jersey doctors have been sanctioned since last year because of inappropriate use or distribution of opioids and other drugs, according to state officials.
“There is no room in New Jersey’s medical profession for physicians who break the law,” said Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal. “As a result of their actions, Dr. Beecher and others are not only facing serious criminal consequences, they are forever banned from practicing medicine in this state.”