DUBOIS, Pa. (KDKA) — A Pennsylvania doctor was arrested Thursday after officials launched an investigation when one of his patients fatally overdosed.
The Office of Attorney General says Jefferson County physician Henry Dela Torre, 68, prescribed opioid drugs, including fentanyl and oxycodone, to two patients who were struggling with addiction starting in April of 2015.
One of those patients, Rachel Shumaker, fatally overdosed in August of 2016, prompting an investigation into Dela Torre. At the scene of the overdose, officers found multiple bottles of prescription opioids in Shumaker’s name that Dela Torre had prescribed to her.
A pharmacy manager told investigators that he had questioned Dela Torre about Shumaker’s opioid prescriptions because she was known to have an addiction problem and she was also being treated with Suboxone, which is used to treat opioid addictions.
In September of 2016, Shumaker’s brother, Randal Shumaker, also overdosed on prescription opioids prescribed by Dela Torre. He recovered after first responders administered Narcan.
Investigators searched Dela Torre’s practice on Beaver Road in DuBois and independent expert review found Dela Torre “practiced at a level that fell below the standard care for any reasonable physician.”
Dela Torre is charged with violations of the Controlled Substances Act, Medicaid fraud and related offenses.