Dentist Sent to Jail for Prescription Drug Fraud

Dentist Abused Prescription Drugs, Wrote Fraudulent Prescription, Going to Jail

prescription drugOn December 3rd, a Columbia, SC-area dentist pleaded guilty to South Carolina prescription drug fraud charges, and he has now been sentenced to one year in prison.

Dr. Ronald Q. Shermer pleaded guilty to the charge of prescription drug fraud last week, a felony violation of South Carolina’s Drug Distribution Laws. Judge Robert Hood sentenced Shermer to one year in prison, although the felony prescription drug fraud charge carried the potential of up to five years in prison.

The South Carolina prescription drug fraud charge stemmed from an incident at Walgreens in February 2014. On the 24th of that month, surveillance video captured Shermer unlawfully picking up a prescription for Hydrocodone, a strong opioid prescription painkiller. Although Shermer had written the prescription for a patient of his dental practice, he admitted to picking the prescription up for his own personal use, without the patient’s consent or knowledge. The prescription drug fraud charge was confirmed by the patient’s financial records, as well as the pharmacy’s log of proof of identification.

Shermer was arrested on April 28th. He has no prior criminal record, and has been licensed to practice dentistry in South Carolina since 1975.

Committee Agrees South Carolina Prescription Monitoring Program Could Help Reduce Prescription Drug Abuse

In March this year, Governor Nikki Haley issued Executive Order 2014-22, which created the Governor’s Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention Council. The council was tasked with studying South Carolina’s problem with prescription drug abuse, and finding methods to help curb the problem. Now, the council said that enacting its recommendations, including creating a prescription drug tracking database, and requiring SC Health Care Officials to enroll in the South Carolina Prescription Monitoring Program, can help curb the problem of addiction to prescription narcotics and barbiturates.

The Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention Council helped create a voluntary drug tracking database, but so far, just 21% of prescribers have joined the South Carolina Prescription Monitoring Program. The council recommended passing a law that would require health care professionals to participate in the drug monitoring program.

This database can help prevent drug-seeking behaviors like doctor-shopping, in which patients visit multiple doctors complaining of chronic pain so that they can get multiple prescriptions for narcotics or sedatives. It can also detect if a patient is taking too much addictive pain medication by tracking how many refills they seek – this could also indicate that the patient may be selling their prescription drugs, or there is an addict in their life stealing pills. Further, the South Carolina Prescription Monitoring Program (prescription drug database) can track how many prescriptions doctors write, which could prevent pill mills or illegal drug activity.

The Strom Law Firm Protects Against Prescription Drug Abuse Charges

Being arrested for prescription drug abuse in South Carolina is something that can be devastating financially and emotionally, and can have long-lasting personal and professional consequences. We understand what you are going through, and we are here to help.

Whether you are charged with:

  • Prescribing or writing Illegal prescriptions,
  • Doctor Shopping or attempting to obtain drugs by fraud or deceit,
  • Illegally possessing prescription drugs,
  • Selling prescription drugs, or
  • Stealing or Forging Prescriptions for drugs,

Contact the South Carolina prescription fraud attorneys at the Strom Law Firm, LLC today for a free consultation to discuss the facts of your case. We will investigate your case from every angle, determine whether an illegal search took place and seek to have your charges reduced or even dismissed. 803.252.4800

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