WESTMORELAND COUNTY (KDKA) — A doctor from Westmoreland County was busted for accepting cash as part of a kickback scheme, and now his patients are having trouble getting the medicine they need.
Thomas Whitten was temporarily suspended on Wednesday by the Board of Medicine after allegedly taking kickbacks from the opioid manufacturer Insys between 2013-15.
Court records show Whitten allegedly took kickbacks from Insys to prescribe its drugs to his patients and increase their dosage.
A former patient who wishes to remain anonymous told KDKA he’s been seeing Whitten for three years and came to him when his primary care provider would no longer prescribe the pain meds he needed for his back and foot pains.
The patient also said he’s not sure if any of the medicine prescribed by Whitten is made by Insys. He was prescribed Dilaudid, oxycodone and fentanyl patches.
He is now dependent on the medicine.
“I shake a lot, and I can’t do what I want,” the patient said.
Court records show Whitten is also accused of preauthorizing Insys scripts to be paid for by Medicare, Medicaid and Highmark Insurance.
He is charged with healthcare fraud and conspiracy to distribute more than 40 grams of fentanyl, among others.