BUFFALO — A Clarence doctor who prescribed painkillers to patients throughout Western New York was sentenced to 70 months in federal prison Thursday in U.S. District Court.

Dr. Eugene Gosy, 60, issued more prescriptions for controlled substances than any other prescriber in New York State, prosecutors said.

He pleaded guilty earlier this year to conspiracy to distribute controlled substances and healthcare fraud.

“The Hippocratic Oath requires physicians to do no harm,” U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy said, “and the defendant’s crimes in this case—prescribing drugs outside the reasonable practice of medicine and without a legitimate medical purpose and healthcare fraud—clearly did harm to certain of his patients and to our healthcare system.”

Gosy prescribed opiods without conducting exams, issued prescriptions for controlled substances in dosages and combinations that harmed patients, knew patients were abusing drugs and failed to monitor patients.

He also signed death certificates without an autopsy or medical exam, signed blank prescriptions to allow others to fill them out and gave gifts and bonuses to physicians assistants and nurse practitioners who saw certain volumes of patients. Those who didn’t meet his standards were threatened with pay cuts, prosecutors said.

“Gosy’s plea laid bare his criminal indifference to the well-being and health of many of his patients and their families,” said Stephen Belongia, Special Agent-in-Charge of the FBI’s Buffalo Office. “Gosy’s practice of medicine placed a higher value on profit through fraud than the fragile lives of those who came to him for help. After his arrest, many expressed support for Gosy believing his treatments were based on good judgment and sincerity, but investigation revealed and his plea prove this was not the case. There is no doubt that Gosy exploited his patients’ pain for profit, at a tragic cost. This case demonstrates the importance of protecting patients suffering from chronic pain from those willing to capitalize on their suffering.”

Johnson Newspapers 7.1