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Oklahoma Doctor Charged With Murder For Prescribing ‘Deadly’ Amounts Of Opioids

Photo from the Oklahoma County Sheriff's Office

A doctor in Oklahoma who prescribed massive amounts of painkillers to her patients has been charged with five counts of second-degree murder.

Mike Hunter, Attorney General for Oklahoma, has accused Regan Nichols, an osteopathic doctor, of causing the deaths of five patients from 2010 to 2013. The victims ranged in age from 21 to 55 years old, Tech Times reports.

The Oklahoma Medical examiner’s office reported that all five patients showed high toxicity in their systems caused my multiple drugs. Nichols supposedly prescribed three of the patients with “deadly” and “addictive” combinations of Alprazolam, Carisoprodol, Hydrocodone and Oxycodone.

Nichols allegedly signed off on prescriptions for over 3 million dosage units of controlled opioids from 2010 to 2014, based on information gathered by the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs Control in the state.

Medical experts who looked at the victims’ files said that Nichols prescribed so much more than the recommended amount, without any medical basis.

Hunter said that 10 of Nichols’ patients who went to her clinic in Midwest City during that time died of drug overdoses. He said,

The dangers associated with opioid drugs have been well documented and most doctors follow strict guidelines when prescribing opioids to their patients.

Hunter added, “Nichols prescribed patients, who entrusted their well-being to her, a horrifyingly excessive amount of opioid medications. Nichols’ blatant disregard for the lives of her patients is unconscionable.”

Nichols was stripped of her ability to prescribe controlled substances in September 2015 by the Oklahoma Board of Osteopathic Examiners. She voluntarily turned in her medical credentials, as well.

During the hearing, Nichols claimed that her patients had developed a high tolerance to the drugs, which is why she prescribed greater amounts. When interviewed by OBN officials in 2015, Nichols stated that she had tried to “discipline” patients to follow drug screen policies. She would “fire” those who did not comply, but would give second chances to those who had abused marijuana.

The Oklahoma County court issued a warrant of arrest for Nichols on Friday. She will be held instead of a $50,000 bond.


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