Tuesday, 21 November, 2017

Doctor prescribed oxycodone for Prince under other name, affidavit says

Madeline Patrick | 18 April, 2017, 03:00

Johnson told authorities that he was unaware that Prince had an addiction to painkillers, but according to the search warrant, investigators were told by witnesses that the singer "recently had a history of going through withdrawals which are believed to be the result of abuse of prescription medication".

During a search warrant executed at Paisley Park on April 21, the day Prince was found dead, a suitcase was found in Prince's bedroom next to his bed.

The suitcase also contained the lyrics for "You got the Look", which appeared to be in Prince's handwriting.

New court documents reveal how Prince was able to keep his use of risky opioid painkillers hidden, leading up to his accidental overdose and death past year.

Prince died at the age of 57.

When authorities later checked a database set up to monitor who's getting prescriptions for controlled substances, they found nothing for Prince. Some were in prescription bottles for Kirk Johnson, Prince's long-time friend.

And a doctor who saw him in the days before he died also prescribed the singer with another drug - oxycodone.

Schulenberg's attorney, Amy Conners, disputed that. An autopsy showed Prince died of an overdose of fentanyl, another drug in the opioid family.

The documents said Prince did not have any prescriptions, including for fentanyl.

Founding members of J. Geils Band dead at 71
Geils lived in Groton for over three decades, and his love for the town has led to Groton, in 2007, designating December 1 as "J". Geils was found unresponsive at his home in Groton, Massachusetts, around 4 p.m. on April 11, the Daily Mail reported .

Investigators haven't interviewed either Johnson or Schulenberg since the hours after Prince died, an official with knowledge of the investigation told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the investigation is ongoing. Complaints typically take 90 to 120 days to resolve, she said.

In practice, laws against prescribing drugs for someone under a false name are not usually enforced when a doctor intends to protect a celebrity's privacy, said Los Angeles attorney Ellyn Garofalo.

But, he says, that prescription is tangential to the case.

Although they can resort to subpoenas, the targets can exercise their right against self-incrimination — and the only way to get them to talk after that is by offering immunity.

A Minnesota defence attorney who's well-versed on drug cases says prosecutors are unlikely to pursue charges against a doctor who allegedly wrote a prescription for Prince in someone else's name. Investigators learned "that Prince Rogers Nelson had no prescriptions issued to him and that Kirk Johnson had only one, Oxycodone which was prescribed on 04-14-16 by Dr. Michael Schulenberg, the same doctor who was at the scene of Paisley Park on 04-21-16when deputies arrived and the same doctor who admitted in a statement to Detective Chris Nelson that he had prescribed Prince a prescription for oxycodone the same day as the emergency plane landing but put the prescription in Kirk Johnson's name for Prince's privacy".

"In his almost 19 years of practice, Dr. Schulenberg has provided the highest level of care to his many patients and has earned a reputation for being a caring and responsible physician".

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"They would be indicting every pharmacist in Beverly Hills if this were strictly enforced", Garofalo said Monday.

Be Civil - It's OK to have a difference in opinion but there's no need to be a jerk.

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