FRAMINGHAM, MA --- (Press Release by Middlesex D.A.'s Office) -- A Doctor was indicted today on nine counts of illegally prescribing controlled substances, Middlesex District Attorney Gerry Leone informed the public today.
Kathleen Porter, 59, of Needham Heights, was indicted by a Middlesex grand jury on charges of illegally prescribing controlled substances (9 counts) and furnishing false information in an application.
An arraignment date has not yet been set.
“We allege that Dr. Porter took advantage of her position and completely disregarded her patients’ obvious addictions by failing to address their pain needs in a medically responsible manner,” District Attorney Leone said. “We further allege that the defendant acted in extremely bad faith, putting multiple peoples’ health in jeopardy by recklessly feeding their addictions with no legitimate medical purpose.”
“A license to prescribe is not a license to traffic in drugs and that is what Dr. Porter is alleged to have done with this indictment. The abuse of prescription pain medication is a significant problem throughout the New England region and leads to the abuse of other drugs, an increase in crime for the user to feed their habit, and heartbreak for many families,” Steven W. Derr, Special Agent in Charge of the DEA New England Field Division, said. “DEA will continue to target medical practitioners like Dr. Porter who is accused of abusing their responsibility to treat those in need and instead become nothing less than a drug dealer who is in it for personal financial gain.”
According to authorities, in the winter of 2009, the Massachusetts State Police Diversion Unit received a complaint from a pharmacy in Framingham regarding the amount of prescriptions for Percocet being filled by a certain customer. Upon further inquiry into these prescriptions, State Police discovered that the patient was utilizing approximately 12 different pharmacies to fill prescriptions, but would not utilize the pharmacy closest to his home. State Police began an inquiry to determine who was writing the prescriptions or if they were forgeries. Through surveillance and interviews they learned that the patient was receiving signed prescriptions for Percocet from Dr. Kathleen Porter.
At approximately the same time, the Unites States Drug Enforcement Administration Diversion Unit was investigating the staggering amount of prescriptions for Percocet being written by Dr. Porter. A continuation of the investigation revealed that Dr. Porter was a surgeon who practiced in the town of Natick and usually conducted surgical procedures at Metro-West Hospital. The investigation revealed that Dr. Porter had three patients that were receiving an alarming amount of Percocet prescriptions. During the years 2007, 2008 and 2009, each patient would receive prescriptions from Dr. Porter for large amounts of Percocet pills.
During the investigation, Dr. Porter admitted to being the surgeon for the three named patients and prescribing the pills. Additionally, she admitted that she had not physically examined nor properly viewed the patients for a year and a half while prescribing the Percocet. Each patient confirmed that they would simply call Dr. Porter’s phone and ask for the Percocet, they would sometimes direct her as to how much to give them and how many prescriptions they would need. Dr. Porter would then, without seeing the patient, write the prescription and tape it to her closed office door. The three patients would pick up the prescriptions and fill them at various pharmacies. Each patient confirms that they are drug dependent and are seeking treatment and sobriety. The total amount of pills for all three patients was over 58,000 Percocet pills.
Dr. Porter was not billing any insurance company or Mass Health, however, her unrelated surgical actions were under review by the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Medicine since 2007. During her application for renewal of her DEA license to handle controlled substances, which includes prescribing, she falsely stated that there was no action pending regarding her state license.
These charges are allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.
This case was investigated by the Massachusetts State Police’s Diversion Unit, the United States Drug Enforcement Administration’s Diversion Unit and the Middlesex District Attorney Office’s PACT Unit.
The prosecutor assigned to this case is Assistant District Attorney Elisha Willis.
For additional info, contact Office of the Middlesex District Attorney, 15 Commonwealth Avenue, Woburn, MA 01801, or phone (781) 897-8300, or visit: www.middlesexda.com