Grand Jury Indicts Former Methuen Doctor for Illegally Prescribing Drugs, Billing Medicare

File photograph. (Image licensed by Ingram Image.)

A former Methuen physician, practicing in Lawrence, was indicted Wednesday by an Essex County Grand Jury for illegally prescribing controlled substances and defrauding the state’s Medicaid program, MassHealth.

Dr. Ramon Suarez-Martinez, 69, former medical director at Lawrence Medical Center, was charged with prescribing amphetamines, benzodiazepines and morphine sulfate, Attorney General Maura Healey said Friday morning. In all, Healey’s office said, six patients received drugs along with six counts of Medicaid false claims.

Suarez-Martinez is scheduled to be arraigned in Essex Superior Court Thursday, May 19.

An investigation revealed that in many instances, Suarez-Martinez prescribed drugs even when he allegedly knew from repeated urine drug screens patients were not taking the drugs. Healey’s office alleges that Suarez-Martinez knowingly prescribed drugs such as clonazepam, a benzodiazepine; amphetamines; and morphine sulfate, an opiate; “for no legitimate medical purpose and not in the usual course of professional practice, and that these illegal prescriptions resulted in false claims billed to and paid for by MassHealth.”

In several instances, she said, urine drug screens indicated that patients were negative for the prescribed medications but positive for illicit substances such as cocaine or fentanyl. In spite of those screens, Suarez-Martinez allegedly continued to prescribe to those patients without addressing the illicit drug use or altering the treatment plan in any meaningful way.

Suarez-Martinez no longer holds a license to practice medicine.

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