Podiatrist Charged with Illegal Drug Prescriptions

Alameda County District Attorney Nancy E. O’Malley announced today that her office has charged San Leandro Podiatrist Dr. Tan Nguyen, 62, with felony counts related to the unlawful prescription of controlled narcotics. A joint law enforcement investigation between the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office, the Department of Health and Human Services, the FBI, and the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office revealed that Nguyen wrote more than 5,000 controlled substance prescriptions between June of 2013 and June of 2014 – mainly for hydrocodone (Vicodin/Norco, an addictive narcotic pain killer), oxycodone (a highly addictive narcotic pain killer), carisoprodol (muscle relaxer) and diazepam (anti-anxiety medication).

During the investigation, undercover law enforcement agents posed as patients and visited Nguyen to request prescriptions for medication. The defendant prescribed narcotics without ever examining the patient, asking any health related questions, or obtaining a medical history.

"Medical professionals who unlawfully supply prescriptions to controlled substances will be identified and prosecuted. Through their illegal and irresponsible actions, professionals such as this defendant put the community at risk. Prescription drug abuse is a public safety and public health issue," states DA O'Malley. "These drugs are highly susceptible to misuse and abuse, which can lead to addiction, accidental poisoning, or other grave consequences. Rates of prescription drug abuse and addiction in Alameda County as well as around the state and nation are alarmingly high, as are the numbers of tragic accidental overdoses due to these drugs. I applaud our federal, state and local partners for their attention and dedication this investigation."

In 2008, Nguyen was convicted of a violation of section 11153 of the Health and Safety code for selling illegal narcotics prescriptions.

Contact: ADA Teresa Drenick
(510) 272-6280
Alameda County District Attorney’s Office

Posted on Jun 30, 2014