Diversion Group Arrests Doctor
JUL 8--Detroit, MI- In March of 2004, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Michigan State Police Bay Area Narcotics Enforcement Team (BAYANET), Flint Area Narcotics Group (FANG) and Genesee County Sheriffs Department began an investigation into the controlled substance prescription and distribution practices of Mukunda MUKHERJEE, MD in Flint, Michigan. DEA and BAYANET received information that Dr. Mukherjee was involved in illegally prescribing and distributing controlled substances such as Oxycontin, Vicodin and prescription cough suppressants. These products are some of the most commonly abused prescription pain killers with Oxycontin representing a major diversion problem throughout the United States. Mukherjee operated a health clinic at 1020 Professional Drive, Suite #5, Flint, Michigan. Located on the window were the words “specializing in pediatrics.”
Investigators established surveillance of Mukherjee’s medical practice and during the course of the investigation, agents made undercover purchases of a variety of controlled substances. Dr. Mukherjee and employees of his practice were writing prescriptions without legitimate need and selling these prescriptions for cash. Undercover agents went into Dr. Mukherjee’s practice, which was often filled with other patients waiting for prescriptions. The doctor would eventually see the undercover agents without conducting legitimate medical exams and sell the undercover agents controlled substance prescriptions for cash, which he put directly in his pocket. While conducting undercover operations against Dr. Mukherjee, agents learned that addicts purchasing prescriptions from Mukherjee were dangerously combining multiple controlled substances at one time. Some individuals even used the prescription codeine cough syrups to pour over ice cream. Investigation showed that “patients” were traveling from as far away as Indiana and Kentucky to purchase illegal prescriptions.
On June 29, 2004, DEA Detroit Diversion Investigators along with members of the DEA Saginaw, BAYANET and FANG raided Mukherjee’s medical offices in Flint and his home in Fenton. Records indicate that between January 1, 2003 and April 30, 2004, Dr. Mukherjee issued prescriptions for 56,414 dosage units of Oxycontin, 166,516 dosage units of hydrocodone pain killers, and 6,200 codeine cough suppressant prescriptions. These numbers far exceed any other medical practice in the area and are far higher than are expected from a legitimate medical practice of this size.
The DEA will be requesting the suspension of Dr. Mukherjee’s controlled substance prescription authority. Mukherjee and two employees have been arraigned in U.S. District Court on numerous counts of Illegal Distribution of Controlled Substances and Conspiracy to Illegally Distribute a Controlled Substance.