Doctors in New York “pill mill” worked under daily threats, court hears

BMJ 2015; 350 doi: (Published 13 May 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;350:h2596
  1. Owen Dyer
  1. 1Montreal

The physician owner of two Bronx clinics described by prosecutors as the biggest “pill mill” chain in the US northeast used gangsters and bouncers to control physician employees who were paid cash to produce thousands of prescriptions for oxycodone.

Kevin Lowe, owner of the Astramed clinics, was convicted in a Manhattan court of conspiracy to distribute and possess oxycodone with intent to distribute, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. Twenty four other defendants in the case have already pleaded guilty, including one other doctor.

The Astramed clinics, which typically employed a dozen physicians, produced nearly 35 000 prescriptions …

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