A North Carolina doctor reportedly appeared before a federal judge in Charlotte on Friday after he was accused of prescribing and giving out an addictive cocktail of drugs.
Henry Emery Jr., 52, currently lives in Waxhaw and has previously practiced medicine in Weddington, according to the Charlotte Observer.
He was still working as a physician when he was accused of conspiring with others to “unlawfully prescribe, dispense, and distribute a mixture and substance containing a detectable amount of buprenorphine,” according to an unsealed indictment.
Buprenorphine is currently approved by the Food and Drug Administration. It is a synthetic opioid typically used to treat intense pain and opioid use syndrome. The drug is also considered a Schedule III controlled substance because of its addictive quality.
The indictment reportedly stated that Emery had prescribed and distributed the drug mixture a number of times between 2018 and 2022.
He appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Susan Rodriguez on Friday on a charge of conspiracy to distribute controlled substances outside professional medical practice. He is also facing 11 counts of distribution of controlled substances outside professional medical practice, per the report.
While it is currently not known if Emery is still practicing medicine, a phone number at his last known office was out of service.
If Emery is found guilty of the charges, he could face up to 10 years in prison and a $500,000 fine for each count in the indictment, according the report.
There has been a number of physicians within the past year who have had their license to practice revoked after being found guilty of malpractice. Earlier this month, the Oregon Medical Board reportedly suspended, retired, or surrendered 15 doctors’ medical licenses.
The report noted that these practicing physicians were discovered to have prescribed unwarranted painkillers, committing sexual misconduct, or have demonstrated negligence of pediatric patients.
The Statesman Journal reported that the board is generally responsible for regulating medicine across the state. The licenses under question are medical doctors, doctors of osteopathic medicine, podiatric physicians, physician assistants, and acupuncturists.
The board oversees all malpractice claims, and physicians must surrender their license if an investigation is conducted. During this time, they are not allowed to work as physicians, or prescribe medication until the investigation has concluded.
An investigation could lead to a suspended license, which could prevent a doctor from working in their usual capacity. They may also be subjected to mandatory training and courses related to the violation that they have been guilty of committing.
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