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Georgia medical board easy on opioid violators

An AJC investigation raises questions about whether the medical board has the authority, the resources or the will to quickly deal with doctors who give out too many pain pills.

Dr. Nevorn Askari started out as a pediatrician, not a drug dealer. But after getting busted for Medicaid fraud, this Emory University-trained doctor chose another path. She accepted a part-time job at a “pain clinic” operating out of a rundown Atlanta house.

She saw 40 patients a day and most left happy, even though they waited hours for exams and spent only 5 or 10 minutes with the doctor once she arrived. Askari knew they didn’t come hoping for a long chat about their symptoms.

“They were there to get pain medication,” Askari told a jury earlier this year.

It was common for patients to tell the doctor what they wanted, as if they were ordering off a restaurant menu. And almost always, they got it. “The specific drugs that were usually requested [were] oxycodone,” Askari testified............ <see full article here>

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