MANAHAWKIN, New Jersey – The prosecutor in Ocean County, Joseph D. Coronato, and the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs Director, Eric T. Kanefsky, announced the arrest of Dr. Liviu T. Holca – the charge: the unlawful distribution of prescription drugs without medical necessity. Not surprisingly, shortly thereafter came the announcement that Dr. Holca’s medical practice has been closed.
Holca is accused of prescribing the drugs Percocet and Xanax to patients for whom there was no medical need. Allegedly, Dr. Holca wrote the unnecessary prescriptions between July 2013 and August 2013.
Percocet is a brand name for oxycodone, a powerful narcotic painkiller notorious for its abuse potential. Xanax belongs to a different class of drugs – anti-anxiety medications – that are also often abused for their sedative and relaxing effect.
Eight undercover operations were conducted by the Southern Enforcement group and gathered evidence that indicates that Dr. Holca dispensed narcotic prescription drugs that was not in accordance with “the usual course of his practice.”
After the investigation, the Office of the Ocean County Prosecutor then charged Holca with ‘Distribution of Percocet without any medical necessity,’ ‘Distribution of Xanax without any medical necessity’ and a slew of other similar charges.
A court-authorized search of Dr. Holca’s residence yielded loaded firearms, a number of a suspected controlled dangerous substances as well as a large amount of money. All of which points to the illegal and unethical selling of prescription drugs.
Prosecutor Coronato is quoted as saying, “No one wakes up and suddenly decides today I’m doing heroin. Abuse of prescription pills is the precursor to a life of dangerous street level drug addiction. It’s only a matter of time before an addicted person’s habit pushes them from high priced pills to cheap street heroin.”
Dr. Holca remains in the Ocean County Jail pending determination of bail. The investigation is ongoing.
Prescription Drugs and America
Dr. Holca is listed under Family Medicine, meaning that he is a primary care physician, not a specialist. And this fits the prescription drug trend in America: the CDC reports that most prescription drugs in American are prescribed by the family/primary care doctor. And, astonishingly, only about 20% of prescribing docs prescribe 80% of all prescription meds.
Statistics inform us that the current trend in medicine and drug use and abuse is that opiates are the most prescribed drug in America; roughly 56% of painkiller prescriptions were given to patients who had filled another prescription for pain from the same or different physician within the past 30 days. This is nearly a twenty-year increase in prescription painkiller use.
In the span of a mere 10 year period, from 1991 to 2009, prescriptions for narcotic painkillers increased almost threefold, to over 200 million.
An analysis of national prescribing patterns shows that more than half of patients who received a narcotic prescription in 2009 had filled another prescription for a similar drug within the previous month.
If you or a loved one is struggling with substance abuse or addiction, please call toll-free 1-800-951-6135.