News Release
For Immediate Release:
November 4, 2009
Contact: Special Agent Tony Pettigrew
Number: 617-557-2138

United States Sues Physician for Failure to Maintain Records of the Use and Distribution of Morphine

NOV 04 -- BOSTON, MA – Steven W. Derr, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration for New England and Acting United States Attorney Michael K. Loucks announced on October 26, 2009, the United States filed a civil Complaint against former physician, WILLIAM HOUGHTON, age 54, of Ashburnham, alleging multiple violations of the record keeping provisions of the Controlled Substances Act.

On January 18, 2005, HOUGHTON sexually assaulted a twenty year old female patient after administering morphine, a Class II controlled substance, an offense for which he was subsequently convicted in a state court action. The Complaint alleges that HOUGHTON failed to maintain or produce records evidencing that morphine was administered for a legitimate medical purpose, failed to maintain or produce records evidencing how the morphine used in the assault was obtained, failed to produce a required inventory of controlled substances and failed to properly account for missing forms used to order narcotics.

The Controlled Substances Act was passed in 1970, inter alia, to reduce the number of legitimate controlled substances diverted into illegal drug traffic. To this end, it mandates adherence to stringent record keeping with regard to the lawful use of various regulated drugs in order to insure that narcotics and other controlled substances are dispensed for lawful purposes by persons authorized to do so. Failure to maintain the required records gives rise to potential civil penalties.

HOUGHTON faces civil penalties of up to $95,000.00 and a prohibition against ever dispensing controlled substances in the future.

The case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration.