A Houston gynecologist reportedly arrested earlier this month for writing prescriptions for pain medication is currently facing a suspended medical license.
Officials with the Texas Medical Board said they suspended the license of Dr. Myrtle Oates after accusations surfaced regarding her operating an uncertified clinic as a “pill mill,” which allegedly issued unauthorized prescriptions for narcotics, such as hydrocodone, like Vicodin, and carisoprodol – a muscle relaxant.
Texas law requires physicians who operate pain management clinics receive a certification from the state medical board granting them the authority to write prescriptions for powerful pain relievers.
Authorities reportedly arrested Oates in June 2016 on felony charges of issuing prescriptions for pain pills without the proper certification from the I-Med Primary Clinic in southwest Houston.
According a press release, the board suspended Oates’ license “after determining her continuation in the practice of medicine poses a continuing threat to public welfare.”
The statement also claims patients paid Oates from $250 to $400 in cash for prescriptions; prescriptions reportedly came written for “a combination of cocktail drugs including opioids and carisoprodol.”
Despite the severity of these accusations, this wasn’t the first time I-Med Clinic faced scrutiny from law enforcement, serving as the target of several investigations before it closed in December 2015:
According to reports, the owners of nearby businesses reported seeing long lines outside the clinic nearly every morning and called police.
Two undercover officers received prescriptions from a nurse practitioner name Althea Harris; Oates reportedly authorized the prescriptions firsthand, but did not examine the officers.
The drugs Oates reportedly prescribed are among the most powerful and addictive narcotics available.
This is a developing story.