BUFFALO, NY- The indictment against Dr. Eugene Gosy now has 166 charges against him, including one count of conspiring to distribute and dispense narcotics resulting in the death of six patients.
The announcement was made Wednesday morning by the U.S. Attorney's office Western New York Office.
"Dr Gosy ignored obvious red flags that the patients he treated were addicted."- Patricia Astoria, Assistant United States Attorney
2 On Your Side spoke to Joel Daniels, the attorney representing Dr. Eugene Gosy, who anticipated the additional charges against his client, including allegations attempting to link Gosy to the deaths of at least three patients who were under his care.
“The government is going to supersede its original indictment with a new one, which will contain all the old charges, plus new charges that will include a number of instances where patients during treatment with Dr. Gosy had died,” Daniels explained.
The Amherst pain specialist was already facing a 114 count federal indictment, accused of prescribing millions of prescription pills for no legitimate medical purpose in exchange for profit. It had been further alleged that Gosy had staff sign his name for hundreds of patients treated at his facility when in fact he was vacationing out of state and overseas.”
Gosy could face up to a minimum of 20 years in prison if convicted of the new charges. He still has his medical license, but there are restrictions and he cannot write prescriptions.
Lawyer: Gosy not to blame
Daniels described the decedents as “high risk chronic pain patients, many of whom had multiple medical problems…some of whom were drug addicts.”
But he insisted the deaths of the patients, who had been referred to Dr. Gosy by other physicians for treatment of chronic pain (and not drug addiction) was not the fault of Dr. Gosy.
“Dr. Gosy did his best to treat them by prescribing medication for their pain, and from what we understand from our investigation these patients chose to abuse the medication and unfortunately several of them had fatal overdoses,” said Daniels. “But the Government has decided to blame Dr. Gosy, and blame him in these cases involving the deaths of these patients.”
Daniels does not expect his client to be charged with murder.
Yet conviction on the charges he expects to be announced could bring decades in prison for the 57 year old Gosy.
“I expect the charge will be the distribution of a controlled substance not for legitimate medical purpose,” said Daniels. “But we say this is a pain medicine practice, where you try to treat people. And if they want abuse these medications then we are not the ones to blame. Maybe the Government should look somewhere else.”
Doctors under the microscope.
Americans account for five percent of the world population, but consume 98 percent of narcotic painkillers Oxycodone and Hydrocodone, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration.
With the growing opioid epidemic, and resultant deaths, doctors are coming under increasing scrutiny because many patients have traced thier addiction to a prescription drug provided initially by a physician.
Daniels calls charges like the ones his client likely faces chilling toward the medical community.
“It sure is, and it’s disturbing, but that‘s what the government is doing here,” said Daniels. “But we’ll see what a jury has to say.”
As Daniels has not received formal notification of any superseding indictment against his client, he could not say when Gosy might appear in court to face what is expected to be new charges.