Doc accused of prescribing a million+ of unwarranted opiates pleads not guilty

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TEXARKANA, Ark. (KTAL/KMSS) – The Texarkana, Arkansas, doctor accused of playing fast and loose with opiate prescriptions is free tonight after being arraigned this afternoon in the Western District of Arkansas Federal Courthouse in Texarkana.

Dr. Lonnie Joseph Parker, who was taken into federal custody Tuesday, pleaded not guilty to all counts prescribing without a legitimate medical purpose outside the scope of a professional practice.

Friday, a federal grand jury in the Western District of Arkansas indicted Parkeron nine counts of prescribing without a legitimate medical purpose outside the scope of a professional practice, which led to Parker’s arrest on Tuesday.

Following the 50-minute hearing, Parker was released on an unsecured bond of $5,000, which he would be required to pay should he miss court proceedings, fail to appear for any sentence imposed or comply with any conditions set on his release.

A scheduling order filed today by the government put Parker’s trial on the fast track – it’s set to begin on Nov. 20, 2019, meaning Parker’s

According to the Indictment, a federal investigation was launched in 2018, following complaints from local law enforcement about a suspected pill mill and possible overdose death of a patient.

Investigators analyzed prescription drug monitoring data attributed Parker, which the indictment says revealed Parker was over-prescribing controlled substances. The prescriptions read like a litany of opiates, benzodiazepines, and promethazine with codeine cough syrup in the Texarkana area.

In the two-year period analyzed, Parker prescribed approximately 1.2 million dosage units of opiates, including oxycodone and hydrocodone, to approximately 1,508 patients (approximately 847 dosage units per patient).

In addition, the indictment states, Parker prescribed approximately 16 gallons of Promethazine with Codeine cough syrup to approximately 29 patients during the same time period. These prescriptions included several prescriptions written in combination with narcotics and sedatives to high diversion risk patients.

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