Okla. agents seize doctor's records after deaths

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Associated Press

Posted on December 30, 2013 at 5:04 PM

Updated Monday, Dec 30 at 5:06 PM

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Narcotics investigators have seized medical records from the office of a former Oklahoma City-based doctor who faces possible murder charges after eight patients died of prescription drug overdoses and another allegedly caused a fatal traffic accident.

According to a search warrant affidavit filed Monday, the records were seized from the office of Dr. William Martin Valuck, 71. Federal agents arrested him Friday at his home in Kilgore, Texas, on nine counts of murder and 43 counts of unlawful distribution of controlled dangerous substances.

Valuck has not been formally charged and is being held at the Rusk County Jail in Henderson, Texas. His attorney, Danny Shadid, did not immediately return a telephone call seeking comment.

The search warrant affidavit filed in Oklahoma County District Court says state and federal agents seized the medical records on Thursday from Valuck's former office, Advanced Care Clinic. The document says agents took patient charts for seven patients and Valuck's office staff surrendered the charts of three other patients.

Investigators also seized blank and completed prescriptions for a variety of individuals as well as notes detailing prescriptions for one of the patients who died from a drug overdose.

An affidavit for an arrest warrant for Valuck says federal and state authorities have been investigating him since January and alleges he "prescribed controlled dangerous substances without a legitimate medical need and in quantities and under circumstances which constitute unlawful distribution of controlled dangerous substances."

The affidavit signed by T.N. Briscoe, an agent with the Oklahoma State Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs Control, states that analysis of the Oklahoma Prescription Monitoring Program shows Valuck "is by far the largest prescriber of CDS in the state of Oklahoma" during the time he has been under investigation, prescribing more than 12,000 more CDS prescriptions than the second largest prescriber in the state.

"Our investigation has revealed that during a period of approximately one year, Dr. Valuck prescribed extremely large amounts of controlled substances including the most abused prescription drugs on the street, to numerous patients with very little medical examination or the establishment of a valid doctor-patient relationship," according to the affidavit.

Valuck's patients died from overdoses of the very same drugs he was prescribing to them including the narcotic painkillers Hydrocodone and Oxycodone well as Alprazolam, Valium and Soma. The affidavit says Valuck would prescribe as many as 600 of the pills at a time.

It also says some pharmacies around Valuck's clinic had refused to fill CDS prescriptions he issued. One, a Walgreen's, refused to fill any of Valuck's prescriptions after making a "good faith determination that the prescriptions were issued for other than legitimate medical reasons."

Valuck did not accept any forms of insurance and that all office visits were paid in cash or credit card, according to the affidavit. Patient records and interviews indicate Valuck charged $250 for initial office visits, $120 for subsequent visits and $160 for visits that included a urinalysis.

The affidavit says Valuck surrendered his medical license earlier this month prior to a meeting of the Oklahoma State Board of Osteopathic Examiners, which was scheduled to consider disciplining Valuck. The board's executive director, Deborah Bruce, did not immediately return a telephone call seeking comment.

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