Feds: DeKalb doctor ‘preyed upon’ addicts with painkiller ‘pill mill’

Dr. Nisar Piracha has been sentenced to seven years and three months in federal prison for running a “pill mill,” prescribing painkillers without giving medical exams, the U.S. Department of Justice announced this week.

Piracha’s Dunwoody practice was raided by the DEA in 2013. At the time of the raid, a DEA spokesman said some patients were coming from Kentucky and Ohio to get pain pills. Some Georgia patients traveled up to 200 miles from Vidalia and Hazlehurst and were prescribed oxycodone, methadone and alprazolam, the Justice Department said.

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“The defendant ignored the basic standards of his profession and preyed upon individuals addicted to prescription drugs in return for a steady cash flow,” said U. S. Attorney John Horn in a release. “With every illegal prescription, the defendant not only abused the trust that society places in physicians, but also fed the cycle of prescription drug abuse and addiction that is devastating our communities.”

Piracha, a Norcross resident, opened Piracha Wellness Clinic in 2012. The same year, DEA agents began going to the clinic undercover as patients and investigating the doctor. Piracha “conducted only brief physical examinations” during the undercover agents’ first visits, prescribing each “high doses” of oxycodone, methadone and alprazolam, the Justice Department said. No physical exams were conducted during the agents’ follow-up visit and the doctor continued prescribing “massive” doses of painkillers, including some at the agents’ request.

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Piracha pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute oxycodone, methadone and alprazolam in December.

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