Washington, May 20: An Indian-American psychiatrist, dubbed by local media as "Dr Death" for his alleged role in the deaths of 36 patients, has been indicted on three counts of felony murder and 57 charges of unauthorised distribution of controlled substances in the US.
Dr Narendra Nagareddy from Atlanta was arrested in January. He is being held in a county jail without bound. The indictment was charged against him on Wednesday.
"Nagareddy has regularly prescribed excessive amounts of controlled substances for no legitimate medical purpose, resulting in the abuse and diversion of the prescribed controlled substances," the indictment alleged.
According to the court papers, these drugs were given to patients without presenting previous medical records, MRIs, X-rays, or prescription records. The indictment alleged that drugs were powerful painkillers that were outside the scope of his practice.
At least 12 patients have died from overdose deaths and another 36 deaths have been directly linked to his practice, it alleged.
"He became well known to addicts on metro Atlanta's south side as a doctor that you could score drugs from without a hassle. Nagareddy regularly prescribed Oxycodone, Hydrocodone, Fentanyl and Methadone, as well as other highly addictive drugs," the indictment said.
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"What it means is there will no longer be prescriptions issued by Dr. Nagareddy that result in the deaths of any innocent people," Clayton County District Attorney Tracy Graham-Lawson told local Channel 2.
In early March, Nagareddy had told a local news channel that he was innocent. "I'm explaining to you, sir, I'm an honest man. I look after all the severely mentally ill patients, please understand, sir," he was quoted as saying by CBS46 news. A court date has been set for July 7.