Metro Atlanta podiatrist ran opioid pill mill for three years


A federal jury has discovered a metro Atlanta podiatrist responsible of prescribing a whole bunch of 1000’s of narcotic drugs to opioid addicts and sellers.

Dr. Arnita Avery-Kelly, 56, was charged with operating the pill mill between November 2013 and April 2016 at two clinics: Podiatric Medical & Surgical Services, 5825 Glenridge Drive in Sandy Springs, and Podiatric Medical and Surgical Spa at 6148 Covington Highway in Lithonia.

Her license to follow podiatry in Georgia solely gave her the flexibility to deal with points associated to ft and legs, however she prescribed mass quantities of habit-forming drugs for issues like power neck ache, weight reduction and sleeplessness, based on an indictment. Prosecutors wrote that she wrote scripts for sufferers even earlier than their first appointment.

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While her clinics had been open, Avery-Kelly prescribed greater than 275,000 30 mg oxycodone drugs — offered on the streets for $30 every — and 300 fentanyl patches “to patients who were either addicted to these substances or selling them on the streets,” based on prosecutors.

Avery-Kelly’s attorneys weren’t instantly accessible for remark Friday.

Avery-Kelly’s workplace supervisor, Brenda Lewis, pleaded responsible in April 2017 to 1 cost that included her admitting she took bribes from sufferers to get opioid prescriptions.

Lewis and Avery-Kelly are set to be sentenced July 24.

The prescriptions “aroused suspicion and concern from pharmacists,” based on the indictment. But authorities investigated Avery-Kelly and Lewis for three years earlier than stopping them.

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Prosecutors mentioned brokers with the Georgia Drug & Narcotics Agency, the state pharmacy board’s enforcement division, contacted Avery-Kelly in November 2013 and once more in February 2014 to debate her excessive quantity of high-dosage opioid prescriptions. The GDNA solely warned her and the Georgia Podiatry Board subjected her to an unspecified “inquiry.”

Avery-Kelly and Lewis weren’t stopped till the Drug Enforcement Administration raided her Sandy Springs workplace in April 2016.

“While in the midst of this country’s prescription opioid crisis, removing and ultimately eliminating physicians who recklessly overprescribe pharmaceutical pills for non-medical reasons, is an important part of DEA’s mission,” Robert J. Murphy, the top of the DEA in Atlanta, mentioned in a Thursday information launch.

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Eight months after the 2016 raid, Avery-Kelly’s podiatry license was nonetheless listed as energetic with no notes on her public medical profile run by the state, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution beforehand reported. A podiatrist on Georgia’s four-member podiatry licensing board mentioned they might wait and see what the courts do earlier than punishing Avery-Kelly, however her license expired eight months later.

As of Friday, there was nonetheless no be aware on her public profile.

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