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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of Ohio

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, March 16, 2015

Akron physician sentenced to five years in prison for illegally distributing prescription painkillers

An Akron physician was sentenced to more than five years in prison for illegally distributing tens of thousands of doses of prescription painkillers, said Steven M. Dettelbach, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio, and Joseph P. Reagan, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Detroit office.

Brian Heim, 56, was sentenced to 63 months in prison. He previously pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute controlled substances and 20 counts of distribution of controlled substances.

“Our region is awash in opioids that have brought heartbreak and suffering to countless families,” Dettelbach said. “We will continue to work with the DEA to identify and prosecute physicians who illegally divert pills.”

Heim was registered with the State of Ohio Medical Board as a medical doctor specializing in family medicine, obstetrics and gynecology. From August 2011 through October 2012, Heim and others agreed to illegally distribute thousands of doses of prescription painkillers to customers from Heim’s office at 3562 Ridge Park Drive, Suite A, in Akron, according to court documents.

Heim distributed and dispensed more than 30,000 tablets of Oxycodone, Oxycontin and Opana to various individuals for which there was not a legitimate medical purpose. He did this by one or more of the following manners: without adequate verification of the patient’s identity or medical complaint; without adequate and reliable patient medical history; without performance of a complete or adequate examination; without establishment of a true diagnosis; without the use of appropriate diagnostic or laboratory testing, and others, according to court documents.

Heim and others did this by using pre-signed blank prescription forms upon which Heim’s staff would fill in the controlled substance and dosage to be prescribed, according to court documents.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Vasilie C. Katsaros following an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration.

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Prescription Drugs
Component(s): 
Updated April 3, 2015