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As Gosy Faces Federal Charges; Community Faces Treatment Shortage

Nielsen: Doctors Caught between Patients & Law Enforcement in Opioid War

Dave Debo
November 14, 2017 - 7:19 am
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(WBEN) As prosecutors take Dr. Eugene Gosy of Clarence to court to answer new federal charges related to his high-volume Williamsville pain management clinic,  a doctor who helped re-establish his practice says that the region still has a problem meeting the needs of patients.

And in some cases, Dr. Nancy Nielsen MD says that law enforcement has had a "chilling effect" on doctors who are caught between fighting opioid abuse and adding services to help those patients. 

"We have to make sure that law enforcement understands that good people are trying to do good work," says Neilsen, a University at Buffalo dean and former President of the American Medical Association.

Neilsen supervised the re-opening of the Gosy's clinic last year, after federal officials shut it down in the wake of the first round of federal narcotics and charges against him.  Last week,  prosecutors added allegations that he is responsible for the death of six addict patients, whose condition he should have been aware of.

"We know that there are gaps and we know that we need more multi-disciplinary centers across the state,  Neilsen says.

RELATED AUDIO:

WBEN Extras
November 14, 2017 - 12:00 pm

Hear the doctor who helped supervise re-opening of Eugene Gosy's pain clinic, on the need for more specialized treatement, with doctors being scared away because of the war on opiod abuse

00:05:30
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Gosy is scheduled to appear before US Magistrate Kenneth Schroeder Jr. Tuesday afternoon for arraignment on the latest charges. A 166-count federal indictment accuses him  of illegally prescribing pain medication that resulted in six deaths. Conviction on the charges connected to patient deaths could bring a maximum sentence of life in prison.

The U.S. Attorney's office in Buffalo said  Gosy was responsible for the mass distribution of prescription painkillers including fentanyl and oxycodone.  Investigators say the pain management doctor ignored obvious red flags that his patients were addicted and abusing their medications. Gosy was already facing an April 2016 indictment alleging illegal prescribing and health care fraud.

Law firm Colucci and Gallaher released a statement saying Gosy has helped tens of thousands of patients and his rate of patient overdose death is far below the national average.

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