A Baldwin doctor was arrested Tuesday morning by investigators from the state attorney general’s office and stands accused of illegally selling prescriptions for oxycodone from his offices in Jamaica and Baldwin, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said in a news release.
Dr. Anand Persaud, 44, was held without bail during his arraignment July 30 at First District Court in Hempstead on two felony counts of criminal sale of a prescription for a controlled substance. If convicted, he faces up to 15 years in prison.
His arrest immediately followed the execution of search warrants at his medical offices at 1019 Atlantic Ave. in Baldwin and 173-25 Jamaica Ave. in Queens.
The attorney general’s office said Persaud was charged with selling a prescription for oxycodone without providing medical documentation or conducting a medical examination of a patient on Nov. 13, 2012 and March 19, 2013. Under state law, physicians are prohibited from prescribing controlled substances, such as oxycodone, “other than in good faith in the curse of their professional practice,” the AG said. Under the law, the pain pills are considered to be narcotic drugs.
“It’s unconscionable that a doctor, a trusted licensed professional, would violate his professional duties and abuse his license to traffic in prescriptions for narcotics,” Schneiderman said. “My office will hold accountable those who contribute to the growth of the prescription drug abuse epidemic in New York State.”
Prosecutors say Persaud maintained a double-tiered practice, with “medical” patients for those who scheduled appointments with regular medical issues. They were charged $110 for an office visit, the AG said. The second tier, prosecutors said, was his “pain management” patients, who were described in a news release as drug users and addicts. Those individuals, according to the attorney general’s office, were charged $250 per visit and the fee allegedly included a prescription for a controlled substance.
Prosecutors said evidence indicated that on Nov. 13, 2012 and March 19, 2013, Persaud charged a patient $250 or more to receive a prescription for oxycodone. He did not conduct a physical examination of either patient or even question them about their need for the medication, the news release said.
The two patients were Medicaid recipients and Persaud participates in the state Medicaid program and prosecutors says the illegal enterprise may have been subsidized by taxpayers.
AG investigators are continuing the investigation into Persaud, prosecutors said. As of this writing, no attorney information was available and there was no answer at his Baldwin office on Tuesday afternoon.