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Investigation details on indicted Wichita doctor released

March 6, 2017

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A new court filing detailed the investigation into a Wichita doctor accused of over-prescribing pain medication, including that authorities said a man fatally overdosed on drugs he prescribed.

Prosecutors filed the investigation report pertaining to Steven Henson, 55, last week, the Wichita Eagle (http://bit.ly/2lTdVaL ) reported. Henson pleaded not guilty to 31 counts, including conspiring to distribute prescription drugs outside his medical practice and unlawfully distributing oxycodone, methadone and alprazolam. Three of his co-defendants pleaded guilty.

According to the filing, a pharmacist filed a complaint about Henson and investigators found he was giving pain-medication prescriptions for $300 in cash at the time. Authorities also determined that Nicholas McGovern, who received multiple prescriptions from Henson, died in June 2015 of an overdose of alprazolam and methadone.

Investigators, who began their probe in 2014, also followed a couple who drove over 160 miles from Lawrence to get prescriptions filled by Henson.

“The people who seek ... high doses of narcotic controlled substances will travel great distances to receive these prescriptions,” the report said. “These same people will call several pharmacies until they find a pharmacy that has enough of the controlled substance in stock.”

The state inspector said that area pharmacists know the dangers of prescribing large amounts of pain medication because of the 2010 conviction of Stephen and Linda Schneider, who were found guilty of prescription practices that led to the deaths of 10 patients.

“This isn’t like the Schneider case at all,” Kerns said. “Schneider was clearly running a pill mill.”

Henson’s medical license has been suspended. There is “not a single illegal prescription, and he didn’t give a single pill,” his attorney Kurt Kerns said.

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Information from: The Wichita (Kan.) Eagle, http://www.kansas.com