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Paskon trial to wrap up Friday

Dr. Seth Paskon’s trial is being held this week in federal court. The trial started Monday and is expected to wrap up Friday.

Dr. Paskon is a physician at Potosi Medical Clinic with board certification in pediatrics and internal medicine.

Federal prosecutors filed a civil suit against Dr. Paskon on June 21, 2007, alleging the Potosi doctor issued “medically unnecessary prescriptions” for narcotic medications to nine patients and caused improper claims for those prescriptions to be presented to Medicaid for payment.

Prosecutors are seeking restitution, civil monetary penalties and an injunction against future violations of the Controlled Substances Act.

Prosecutors have alleged Paskon is recklessly handing out heavy doses of prescriptions for painkillers and anti-anxiety to patients and may be linked to as many as 46 drug overdose deaths in two Missouri counties.

According to the St. Louis Post Dispatch, in an affidavit filed as part of the license case, Washington County Coroner Brian DeClue said his investigation revealed that 20 to 25 people who died from prescription drugs overdoses since 2001 “appear to have been Paskon’s patients.”

St. Francois County Coroner James Coplin reported in an affidavit that 21 of Dr. Paskon’s patients had died from prescription drug overdoses in his county since 2001.

One of the prosecutor’s allegations is that Dr. Paskon prescribed Valium and Norco to a patient while she was pregnant.

Another allegation is that Dr. Paskon “inappropriately wrote” prescriptions for Percocet, Valium and Methadone to another patient, who couldn’t read. The patient’s live-in girlfriend reportedly accompanied the patient to every visit and was given instructions on how to administer the methadone. The patient died a few days later of mixed drug intoxication.

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