WILLIAMSVILLE, N.Y. -- Patients of the Williamsville pain management specialist accused of providing illegal prescriptions for controlled substances such as hydrocodone and fentanyl have to go elsewhere to get prescriptions.
Dr. Eugene Gosy pleaded not guilty, surrendering his license to prescribe controlled substances, but keeping his license to practice medicine. His office isn't scheduled to reopen for two weeks which has many patients upset.
The Erie County Health Commissioner is encouraging Dr. Gosy's patients to see their primary care doctors if they need prescriptions while his office is closed. That is something echoed by Dr. Richard Blondell who is a professor in the Department of Family Medicine at U.B.
"I would encourage the primary care physician to work with the patient and try to do something to bridge them through until other arrangements can be made, or a determination can be made about what to do with the patient long term," says Dr. Blondell.
But many of Dr. Gosy's patients are frustrated because their primary care doctors won't refill their prescriptions.
"What are we supposed to do? Who are we supposed to go to?" asks Lynn Scarpine.
Scarpine has been going to Dr. Gosy's practice for 13 years. Her daughter is also a patient.
"If you've ever stood by the bedside of a child no matter how old they are, and watched them writhe in horrific pain and suffer, and it just tears your heart out," she says.
Scarpine's appointment was supposed to be Tuesday. Now she doesn't know when she will get to see her doctor. She thinks someone should have come up with a better plan for the patients.
"There's too many people hurting now. And the primary care doctors who took that same Hippocratic oath which says in the beginning first do no harm, are not willing to fill in the gap until Gosy's office opens again if it does," says Scarpine.
Dr. Blondell is concerned that some people may turn to illegal drugs, and he is suggesting primary care doctors give family members prescriptions for Narcan.
"It is possible that people who go to the illicit market might take too much and overdose and that's where a family member can come in and potentially save their life," says Blondell.
Scarpine says she doesn't agree with that idea at all.
"That's just adding to the panic and the anxiety because I see this as a response to the society anxiety over the heroin epidemic. That's what I see this as," says Scarpine.
2 On Your Side heard from some of Dr. Gosy's other patients on Monday. They are also going to run out of medicine soon, and they say their primary doctors aren't helping them either.
Gosy's office is scheduled to reopen on May 16.