Michigan physician acquitted of pill mill charges after 3 years in jail

After awaiting trial without bond for 43 months, Detroit physician Rajendra Bothra, MD, was acquitted June 29 of all charges that he used his pain clinics to illegally prescribe $500 million in opiods, the Detroit Free Press reported. 

An interventional pain physician, Dr. Bothra was accused of heading an opioid scheme from his three clinics in Michigan — The Pain Center USA in Warren and Eastpointe and Interventional Pain Center in Warren.

But a federal jury acquitted Dr. Bothra, the lead defendant in the case, and three other physicians of all charges in a "major blow to the government," according to the Free Press. Also acquitted were Michigan physicians Ganiu Edu, MD, of Southfield, David Lewis, MD, of Detroit and Christopher Russo, MD, of Birmingham.

Two other accused physicians, Eric Backos, MD, of Bloomfield Hills  and Ronald Kufner, MD, of Ada, pleaded guilty and testified against the others at the trial. 

According to the original indictment, the physicians illegally prescribed more than 13 million doses of prescription pain pills from 2013 to 2018, including OxyContin, Vicodin, hydrocodone and Percocet. Prosecutors alleged the physicians got patients hooked on pain pills and forced them to undergo painful procedures if they wanted more. 

Dr. Bothra was jailed pending the outcome of his case, appealing nine times to be released on bond, but was denied after prosecutors convinced courts that he had hidden money to flee to India.

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