Sunday December 16, 2018

Indian origin US psychiatrist “Dr Death” arrested after 36 patients die


Washington: Given the name of ”Dr Death” by police, an Indian-origin psychiatrist in the US was taken into the custody after the death of his 36 patients. 12 of those dying due to overdose on prescription medication.

Narendra Nagareddy was arrested on suspicion of over- prescribing prescription medication and running a ‘pill mill’.

“He’s a psychiatrist in Jonesboro who has been over-prescribing opiates and benzodiazepine and the last several years have had a multitude of overdoses and overdose deaths,” Clayton County Police Chief Mike Register told reporters.

Dr Nagareddy’s office was raided by around 40 federal and local agents of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the Clayton County District Attorney’s office, the Clayton County Police Department and the Georgia Department of Community Supervision.

The agents gathered in the office came with a search warrant and an arrest warrant for the psychiatrist. The raid later moved on to his home in order to seize more assets.

“He’s charged with prescribing pain medication which is outside his profession as a psychiatrist and not for a legitimate purpose for the patient,” said Clayton County District Attorney Tracy Graham Lawson.

Legal documents showed that “36 of Dr Nagareddy’s patients have died while being prescribed controlled substances from Dr Nagareddy, 12 of which have been confirmed by investigators through autopsy reports to have been the result of prescription drug intoxication.”

Audrey Austin, one of Dr Nagareddy’s patients, died of a fatal prescription containing drug overdose. The 29-year-old mother of two visited the doctor days before the incident took place. The deadly result is regarded as a direct consequence of the frequent visits to the psychiatrist.

“She was an addict and he made it very easy for her,” Audrey’s mother Ruth Carr was quoted as saying by reporters in New York.

“Americans are abusing prescription drugs at a truly alarming level,” said Clyde E Shelley Jr with the DEA. She further said, “Doctors hold a position of public trust and to betray that position cannot be tolerated.”

The documents further revealed, “former and current patients have admitted to obtaining controlled substance prescriptions from Dr Nagareddy without having a legitimate medical need.”

“People come to this person for help, and instead of getting help, they’re met with deadly consequences,” Clayton County Police Chief Register was quoted as saying. “If the allegations are true, he is Dr Death, no doubt about it.”

The district attorney’s office said they also filed a RICO civil action to seize Nagareddy’s assets.

The name given to him shows the irony that a person who is supposed to save lives is called,”Dr Death”.

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Indian-origin psychiatrist held for faking credentials

Source: Google images
Source: Google images
Source: Google images

Wellington: An Indian-origin psychiatrist from the US, charged with stealing the credentials of another US-based doctor so that he could work in New Zealand, was arrested and denied bail, a media report said on Thursday.

According to New Zealand police, Illinois-based psychiatrist Mohamed Shakeel Siddiqui used the credentials of another psychiatrist Mohammed Shafi Siddiqui.

He allegedly used the doctor’s references as his own, New Zealand Herald reported.

Mohamed Shakeel got a job in New Zealand through a recruitment agency. He was given a year’s contract to work as a practising psychiatrist with the Waikato District Health Board — a public health service provider.

Later, Mohamed Shakeel’s colleagues became suspicious about his professional behaviour and carried out their own inquiries related to his physician and surgeon’s licence (practising certificate) issued by the state of Illinois’ department of financial and professional regulation on September 13, 2012.

After they found discrepancies, police were informed and Mohamed Shakeel was arrested.

Defending his client, Mohamed Shakeel’s lawyer told media: “Siddiqui had been performing well, receiving ‘exceeds expected standard’ in most areas, including clinical knowledge, diagnostic skills, time management, recognising limits, professional knowledge, reliability and professional manner.”

Mohamed Shakeel appeared in the Hamilton District Court in New Zealand on July 25 and was remanded in custody without plea.

He reappeared this week before the court and was refused bail.

The hospital authorities, now, have more questions than answers.

“If Siddiqui wasn’t entitled to the documents, how did he get them, and how did they get past the eyes of his staff,” the report added.

The police claim that Mohamed Shakeel may have two passports.

Originally from India, Mohamed Shakeel earned his medical degree from the University of Arizona in 1992.

In 2011, he got a degree in psychiatry and neurology from the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology.

Mohamed Shakeel is also facing trial for obtaining pecuniary advantage by deception.