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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Massachusetts

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, December 17, 2021

Worcester Physician Agrees to Pay $115,000 Settlement to Resolve Allegations of Illegal Prescribing of Opioid Controlled Substances

BOSTON – A Worcester physician has agreed to resolve allegations that he improperly prescribed opioid controlled substances outside the usual course of professional practice.

Edward Driscoll, M.D., a physician who practiced at UMass Memorial Medical Center in Worcester, has agreed to pay $115,000 to resolve allegations that he violated the civil remedies provisions of the Controlled Substances Act.

According to the settlement agreement, Dr. Driscoll admitted that he prescribed Schedule II controlled substances that were outside the usual course of professional practice for nine patients. Dr. Driscoll prescribed opioids for chronic pain without conducting functional pain assessments or opioid risk assessments. He rarely ordered urine drug screens and did not have consistent monthly office visits, despite prescribing opioids to patients monthly.

“We entrust physicians to appropriately care for their patients and comply with DEA prescribing regulations, especially in the midst of a destructive opioid epidemic,” said Acting United States Attorney Nathaniel R. Mendell. “These medications are controlled for a reason and failure to abide by the rules puts patients’ safety at risk. We are committed to working with our law enforcement and regulatory partners to enforce compliance and ensure public safety against the dangers of improper prescribing.”   

“The DEA is committed to ensuring that all registrants are in compliance with the required regulations, which are enforceable through the Controlled Substances Act,” said Special Agent in Charge Brian D. Boyle of the Drug Enforcement Administration, Boston Division. “Failure to do so increases the potential for diversion and jeopardizes public health and safety.  DEA pledges to work with our law enforcement and regulatory partners to ensure these rules and regulations are followed.”

During the investigation, Dr. Driscoll surrendered his Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) registration number and, as part of the settlement, agreed that he would not seek a new DEA registration number.

Acting United States Attorney Mendell and DEA SAC Boyle made the announcement today. Assistant U.S. Attorney Alexandra Brazier of Mendell’s Affirmative Civil Enforcement unit handled the case.

Topic(s): 
Prescription Drugs
Component(s): 
Updated May 6, 2022