Public Safety

Cedar Rapids doctor pays $100,000 settlement for prescribing opioids without medical need

Prescriptions were for two patients over two-year period, according to U.S. Attorney's Office

Drug overdoses in the United States have seen their first decline in nearly three decades, contributing to an overall li
Drug overdoses in the United States have seen their first decline in nearly three decades, contributing to an overall life expectancy increase. (Dreamstime/TNS)

CEDAR RAPIDS — A Cedar Rapids family medicine physician has agreed to pay $100,000 to resolve allegations he prescribed opioids to patients who had no legitimate medical reason for the drugs.

Dr. Paul Lottes is accused of violating the Controlled Substances Act from August 2017 to April 2019 when he wrote opioid prescriptions for two patients that had no legitimate medical purpose and were not issued in the “usual course of professional practice,” according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Lottes also agreed not to reapply for a controlled substances registration with the Drug Enforcement Administration for a period of three years. Without this registration, Lottes will not be able to prescribe controlled substances.

The claims resolved by the settlement are allegations only, and there has been no determination of liability, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

“Overprescribing is a major factor in the devastating opioid epidemic facing our country,” U.S. Attorney Peter Deegan said in a statement. “As this settlement demonstrates, our office is committed to using all available tools to fight this epidemic, including civil prosecution under the Controlled Substances Act.”

Sarah Boblenz, manager of the DEA’s Omaha Division Diversion Program, said in a statement, “Doctors who prescribe controlled substances outside the bounds of professional practice betray their oaths as practitioners and also fail the patients who trust them for care. DEA and its partners at the federal, state and local level will continue to investigate all practitioners who cause harm to the public and fuel the opioid epidemic.”

The case was handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Melissa Carrington and investigated by the Iowa Medicaid Fraud Control Unit and the DEA.

Comments: (319) 398-8318; trish.mehaffey@thegazette.com

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