A Harrison County doctor has been charged with supplying excessive amounts of prescription pain medication to people for non legitimate medical reasons, according to a news release from U.S. Attorney William J. Ihlenfeld.
Dr. Edita Milan was arrested Thursday for conspiracy to distribute schedule II, III, and IV controlled substances. Milan allegedly supplied large quantities of painkillers to her customers for no legitimate medical purpose. According to the news release, Milan's actions are believed to be financial in nature and are believed to be linked to several drug overdose deaths.
The Greater Harrison Drug Task Force had been investigating Milan and her practice for several months when in June, 2013, one of Milan's neighbors, as well as a patient of Milan, was found dead in his home in Fairmont, according to the news release.
According to the criminal complaint, the man had been prescribed large quantities of painkillers by Milan prior to his death. The complaint also states that Milan misrepresented the cause of the man's death to the medical examiner and also conspired to throw away many of the man's pill bottles after his death to conceal her connection to him.
The complaint also alleges that although the deceased man had not been in to see Milan for three months prior to his death, Milan continued to prescribe oxycodone and morphine to him, a method of prescribing that is against legitimate medical practice.
A review of State Health Department records was also conducted and showed that between 2010 and 1011 three additional patients of Milan died as a result of overdoses from pharmaceuticals that she had prescribed to them, according to the criminal complaint.
In 2009, Milan received authorization to open a narcotic treatment program, also referred to as a "pain clinic", and was permitted to treat up to 30 patients with narcotics. The investigation indicated that she was treating more than twice as many patients than she was authorized to treat, according to the news release.
It is also believed that Milan prescribed pills to people "off the books". Officials said a State Board of Pharmacy data review revealed that Milan had at least 37 patients "who are known by law enforcement to have involvement in the illegal diversion of prescription pills."
The initial investigation focused on an employee of Milan's practice who was selling painkillers in the parking lot of the office to an undercover police officer. Officials said the employee was charged in federal court and convicted.
Milan's sister, who had a prior felony drug conviction, replaced that employee, according to the news release.
Information received from a Harrison County pharmacist caused the focus of the case to change to the large number of prescriptions being written by Milan to her employees and their families, according to the news release. Surveillance conducted by task force officers confirmed these allegations.
Search warrants were then served at Milan's home and her office in Bridgeport in late June, 2013. Milan agreed to voluntarily surrender her DEA registration number on the day the search warrants were issued, according to the news release.
Hundreds of patient files were seized by investigators as a result of the execution of the search warrant at Milan's office. Officials said patients wishing to obtain copies of their medical files should make a request to the U.S. Attorney's Office, P.O. Box 591, Wheeling, W.Va., 26003. Patients should include their name, date of birth, address and phone number in the request.
Dr. Milan was arraigned by video conference Thursday afternoon and released on bond, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.