Dr. Pranathi V. Reddy of Bucks County, Pennsylvania, will pay $150,000 and stop prescribing Schedule II opioids for four years to resolve allegations that she diverted controlled substances for personal use and overdosed on one occasion and that she failed to comply with various record-keeping requirements for controlled substances, reports First Assistant United States Attorney Jennifer Arbittier Williams.
The settlement resolves allegations that Reddy diverted a package of controlled substances for her personal use on October 14, 2018, resulting in an overdose and her transport to the hospital. It also resolves allegations that from June 2017 through November 2018, she failed to maintain various records of the controlled substances she used in her professional practice as a dentist.
For example, the settlement resolves allegations that Reddy failed to maintain an initial inventory of her controlled substances, document the transfer of controlled substances on the required forms, and maintain the controlled substances at her registered locations. The claims resolved by the settlement are allegations only, and the Department of Justice notes that there has been no determination of liability.
In addition to the $150,000 penalty, Reddy is now barred from purchasing, prescribing, or dispensing any Schedule II controlled substances for at least the next four years. She also is subject to a number of monitoring requirements, including reporting her controlled substance purchasing, dispensing, and prescribing to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).
“Controlled substances, especially opioids, pose extraordinary risks to our communities, including to healthcare providers,” said Williams.
“When providers are granted the privilege of purchasing and prescribing controlled substances, they also accept the weighty responsibilities that come along with those privileges, including ensuring that controlled substances are used for a legitimate medical purpose and generating the records necessary for accountability and transparency,” said Williams.
“Unfortunately, sometimes they fail to comply with these critical responsibilities, and that is when it is necessary for our office to step in and work with our law enforcement partners to use all available enforcement tools to hold these providers responsible,” said Williams.
“Dr. Reddy, like all DEA registrants that are licensed and entrusted with the safe handling of powerful controlled substances, failed to accurately document and secure these same controlled substances in accordance with federal regulations,” said Jonathan A. Wilson, special agent in charge of the DEA’s Philadelphia Field Division.
“In the midst of the current opioid crisis, even medical professionals are not immune from the perils of substance use disorder,” said Wilson.