Tuesday January 22, 2019
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Lynn R. Webster, MD Sets Standard for DEA InvestigationsMarianne Skolek-Perez Salem-News.com Investigative Reporter
Following the trail of the prescription opioid epidemic and the DEA's efforts to expose the purveyors.
(MYRTLE BEACH, SC) - In 2013, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) launched an investigation of then-president-elect of the American Academy of Pain Medicine (AAPM) Lynn R. Webster, MD, related to overdose deaths at Webster’s Lifetree Pain Clinic in Salt Lake City.
It was alleged there were up to 100 deaths at Webster's clinic which was raided by the DEA.
Webster attributed the deaths to "suicide" and the pain clinic closed its doors. The U.S. Attorney for the District of Utah declined to pursue charges, effectively ending the DEA investigation. US Senator Orrin Hatch (Utah) was rumored to be the force behind charges being dropped against Webster.
There were personal injury cases settled against Webster by some of the family members of the dead victims at his pain clinic.
He was able to retain his medical license, but it was reported that his ability to prescribe opioids was revoked. So Webster reinvented himself and is now involved in research on opioids including being an advisor to the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) and a "champion" for physicians and corporations coming under investigation by the DEA.
Irony? It is when your mentor is the senior U.S. Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah.
Hatch has sealed the U.S. Finance Committee investigation report launched in 2012 which named Lynn R. Webster, MD and the American Academy of Pain Medicine (AAPM) as worthy of scrutiny. My links to articles involving Orrin Hatch and his obstruction of justice in the prescription opioid epidemic are shown below.
In June 2017 a company called Proove Biosciences located in Irvine, California was raided by federal officials as part of a fraud investigation. Lynn R. Webster, MD is listed as a "medical advisor" on the Proove Biosciences website.
Proove promotes itself as a “leader in genetics testing related to opioid addiction.” In this link, you can see FBI agents removing box loads of documentation in preparation for a “healthcare fraud investigation”: http://abc7.com/news/irvine-company-raided-by-fbi-as-part-of-fraud-investigation/2071108/. Yet another coincidence with a raid and a Webster affiliation?
And now another investigation being conducted by the DEA on a pain physician named Forest Tennant, MD whose pain clinic and residence in California were raided. In their search warrant, the DEA alleges that Tennant prescribed such high doses of opioids and other medication that his patients had to be selling the opioids.
It also alleges that Tennant took financial kickbacks from Insys Therapeutics, a controversial Arizona drug maker that is under federal investigation. Webster is rallying to Tennant's side. Those in the chronic pain patient community who have become addicted are in a frenzy over their fears of not having opioids prescribed long-term to them.
Tennant has even accommodated patients from states outside his practice in California. Here are links to Tennant's involvement with Insys Therapeutics whose president, John Kapoor was recently arrested by federal agents:
In 2015, the DEA became suspicious of United Pharmacy of Los Angeles and Farid Pourmorady, pharmacist and owner of United filling prescriptions of powerful opioids for multiple physicians.
“We believe that United, Tennant and various medical practitioners are profiting from the illicit diversion of controlled substances, including the powerful narcotic fentanyl, which are prescribed and dispensed other than for a legitimate medical purpose,” according to an affidavit the DEA filed in support of a search warrant.
Some prescriptions issued by various physicians including Tennant were invalid. United has also been accused of submitting millions of dollars in fraudulent Medicare prescriptions in claims for filling invalid opioid prescriptions -- including those written by Tennant. Tennant was involved with methadone clinics in 1972.
His clinics were repeatedly cited by California and federal authorities for serious and continuous deficiencies and on several occasions he had to reimburse the state for overcharges.
In March 1997, following a Drug Enforcement Administration investigation, Tennant and Community Health Projects paid $625,000 to settle allegations that many of his clinics violated record-keeping requirements.
Right about now might be a good time for Tennant to take up a spirited game of Monopoly with Webster. Why? Because Webster may just hold the "stay out of jail cards" given to him by Senator Orrin Hatch.
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