A Massachusetts doctor faced a judge on Thursday in connection with the death of a patient who overdosed on opioids he prescribed.
Dr. Richard Miron, 76, is charged with 23 counts of illegally prescribing opioids, 23 counts of Medicaid fraud and one count of involuntary manslaughter. Miron pleaded not guilty at his arraignment in Middlesex Superior Court and was released on personal recognizance.
The Dracut physician was the subject of an investigation by Attorney General Maura Healey's office after MassHealth, the state's Medicaid program for people of low income, found Miron was its top prescriber of high dose, short acting oxycodone between 2015 and 2016.
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Healey's office said earlier this month this is the first time the state has charged a doctor with manslaughter for an opioid overdose death.
Prosecutors said a patient of Miron's died in 2016 from acute intoxication due to the combined effects of several drugs he prescribed, including fentanyl and morphine. Prosecutors said Miron continued to prescribe large doses of opioids to her even though he knew she previously overdosed on opioids he prescribed.
Prosecutors also claim that Miron gave opioids to other at-risk patients for no medical reason, resulting in illegal Medicaid payments.
Miron and his lawyer declined to comment as they left the court. He is due back in court next month.