Search Results for: tseng

Costco pharmacist claims he was fired for whistleblowing: ABC

pillsscatteredA former Costco pharmacy technician is suing the retail giant, claiming he was fired after raising concerns and contacting law enforcement about doctors he believed were over-prescribing powerful painkillers, ABC Los Angeles reports. Shad Thomas says he red-flagged seven local doctors over the years – including Dr. Lisa Tseng, the Rowland Heights former physician now awaiting trial on three counts of second-degree murder for the overdose deaths of three patients, and another who he claims prescribed 7,000 oxycodone to a single patient in one year. Costco has a bonus program for pharmacy managers that is partly based on sales, incentivizing managers to allow addicted patients to continue filling massive scripts, according to ABC News.

See more of ABC News’ reporting on painkiller abuse in southern California here.

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Calif. doctor facing murder charges in wake of pill overdoses

A California doctor known as “Dr. Feelgood” has been charged with murder and 21 other felony counts in connection with the prescription drug overdose deaths of three of her patients. Dr. Hsiu-Ying “Lisa” Tseng, an osteopathic physician from Rowland Heights, Calif., wrote more than 27,000 prescriptions over a three-year period starting in January 2007 – an average of 25 a day.

According to Los Angeles County prosecutors, Tseng opened a storefront medical office in Rowland Heights in 2005. The Drug Enforcement Administration launched an investigation in 2008 after a pharmacy reported overlapping customers.

Tseng has been charged with murder in the deaths of Vu Nguyen, 29, of Lake Forest, Calif. on March 2, 2009; Steven Ogle, 25, of Palm Desert, Calif., on April 9, 2009; and Joseph Rovero III, 21, an Arizona State University student from San Ramon, Calif. on Dec. 18, 2009. All were patients of Tseng, who prescribed a myriad of drugs for the three young men.

Tseng, who is being held on $3 million bail, faces a possible maximum state prison term of 45 years to life. She has previously denied any wrongdoing.

Read more about Tseng here.

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OxyContin Activists: Jodi Barber and Christine Brant

Jodi Barber and Christine Brant (far right and far left in the picture) of Laguna Niguel, Calif. are the brains behind “Overtaken,” a short documentary educating young adults on the truth about prescription drug addiction and the often deadly consequences pills have. Oxy Watchdog caught up with the two moms just ahead of the film’s release on Sept. 22.

Watchdog: How did you get involved in the issue of prescription drug addiction?

JB: This mission started 20 months ago when my 19-year-old son Jarrod died on Jan. 8, 2010 after overdosing on prescription pills. He had a quarter of an Opana pill he had bought from a kid he knew, and he crushed it, melted it, and inhaled the fumes. He also had drugs in his system from his own doctor – Seroquel, Cymbalta, and Klonopin.

CB: The most deadly of those was the Opana, and many kids don’t understand that when you break them in half or crush them or split them between friends, it removes the time-release coating and it’s all dumped into your system at one time.

W: How common is prescription drug abuse in your community? How many deaths have there been, and who is dying?

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Former patients call Calif. doctor “a legal drug dealer”

Former patients of Dr. Lisa Tseng – who has been linked to several fatalities due to overdoses of prescription narcotics including OxyContin, hydrocodone and Xanax – say she freely prescribed large quantities of pills without examining them, according to this article. After getting hooked on the meds, they soon turned to heroin because it was cheaper and easier to get, the article says. Tseng is currently under investigation by the DEA, which has yanked her medical license on the grounds that she is “an imminent danger to public health and safety.”

Read about Tseng’s troubles here.

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Doctor fraudulently prescribes painkillers to homeless

Zhiwei Lin, a California neurologist, was arrested earlier this month for writing prescriptions for Vicodin to those who did not need it. Like OxyContin, Vicodin is a powerful, Schedule II opiate prone to abuse. According to this article in the Los Angeles Times, the homeless “patients” were paid by drug dealers to obtain prescriptions from Lin. The dealers would then sell the painkillers at an increased price. Lin’s ability to prescribe drugs prone to abuse, and even his license, may now be in jeopardy.  The arrest follows the case of another California doctor, Lisa Tseng, who has been linked to six overdose deaths from prescriptions she wrote.

Read about the arrest of Lisa Tseng here.

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Calif. doctor linked to six-plus deaths involving OxyContin

State officials in California are pressing to revoke the license of a doctor linked to several fatalities due to overdoses of prescription narcotics including OxyContin, hydrocodone and Xanax. An article in The Los Angeles Times reports that at least six men have died of overdoses after visiting general practitioner Lisa Tseng, some of whom were known addicts. According to the Associated Press, in addition to misconduct charges from the Osteopathic Medical Board of California, Tseng faces an investigation by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration into her prescribing practices.

Read the DEA’s press release on the issue here.

*Update: Tseng is now claiming that the responsibility for any misuse of the drugs belongs to the users, despite allegations by DEA officials that she routinely prescribed Oxy and other powerful painkillers without properly assessing patients’ medical needs – or their apparent addictions, the LA Times reports.

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