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Government dismisses 91 counts against Amherst pain doctor

Dr. Eugene Gosy still faces 75 counts, including those related to the deaths of six patients, when his trial gets underway next month.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — An Amherst pain doctor, who the government alleges is responsible for the deaths of six of his patients, has had 91 counts against him dismissed. 

Dr. Eugene Gosy still faces 75 counts, including those related to the deaths of those patients. The charges that were dropped involve prescriptions to individual patients.

Gosy is scheduled to go on trial in U.S. District Court in Buffalo on January 7, after first being indicted in April of 2016.

Long Case, Long Trial

The government has submitted a witness list of nearly 200 individuals who may testify at the trial, including nearly two dozen former patients of Dr. Gosy, and several relatives of those whose deaths prosecutors have attributed to the actions of Gosy. 

The trial is expected to last several months.

The case of Dr. Gosy was, according to prosecutors, marked the first time in Western New York that a physician had been charged with unlawfully prescribing drugs which resulted in the death of a patient.

Gosy is accused of orchestrating a conspiracy to, along with employees at his pain clinic, provide more prescriptions for controlled substances than any facility in the entire state, including hospitals.

In some cases, it is alleged Gosy over prescribed medications, and in others he prescribed it haphazardly without examining patients, He is also accused of having signed blank prescriptions to be filled out by staff while he vacationed

Perhaps most importantly, according to prosecutors, Gosy is alleged to have ignored obvious signs of addiction among his patients, including that they’d overdosed on prior occasions, and ignored the pleas of family members that they be given no more medications because they were hooked.

Monster or Healer?

Whether Gosy is the monster the feds portray him to be, or a healer who went to great lengths for his patients, depends who you ask.

"You would think as a doctor and a pain management specialist he would look at the patient’s overall well-being considering how strong pain medications can be," said Molly Brown in 2017.

Brown believes Gosy failed to do that for her father, who she says became addicted to the drugs prescribed to him by Gosy for chronic pain due to a back injury.

Brown recalls her father taking a steady stream of pain killers, which she believes affected his psyche, until he took his own life in 2007.

Another man who claimed to have been under Dr. Gosy’s care for more than a decade due to chronic pain resulting from a broken neck, said he felt Gosy unnecessarily pushed pain meds on him.

He told WGRZ-TV he  tried to wean himself off the medications, fearful of how they were affecting him and his dependence on them.

 “I now realize that doctors and pharmaceutical companies have taken 18 years of my life," he said in a text message.

But other patients of Dr. Gosy staunchly defend him.

“To me he’s a hero,” said Chris Abbott of Lockport. “He saved my life.”

Abbot says he contacted radiation poisoning while doing work for the military several years ago, and that it affected his nervous system causing severe chronic pain. He said Gosy is the only doctor who was able to manage his pain successfully.

“And I never had to go to rehab and I never overdosed. Dr. Gosy watched me and took care of me like a hawk,” Abbott said.

2 On Your Side's Dave McKinley will have much more on this story on Channel 2 News at 5 & 6.

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