A New York doctor under federal indictment in the deaths of six patients who overdosed on opioids has been offered a job at another clinic.
Dr. Eugene Gosy, a neurologist, still has a license to practice medicine but under his bail conditions must be supervised by other doctors who actually order treatments and write prescriptions.
He has been seeing patients at the Buffalo-area pain management clinic he founded but recently approached a full-service clinic called Invision Health about working there and was offered a position with the same conditions.
"He hasn’t been found guilty of anything and this is still America," said Dr. Michael Landi, who founded Invision Health.
"If there comes a time where he's found guilty, he won't be able to practice medicine and we will take care of his patients without them being stranded."
Gosy was indicted in 2016 on narcotics and fraud charges by federal prosecutors who said he turned patients of his pain management clinic into drug addicts for profit. Last year, a superseding indictment alleged that he "caused the death of at least six individuals, and contributed to the deaths of others."
Gosy has pleaded not guilty and his lawyer has said all the pain pills he prescribed were for legitimate medical purposes.
An April 13 letter from Invision to the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Western District of New York said the clinic "is aware and acknowledges the set limitations on the scope of practice for Dr. Gosy" and plans to have four other doctors oversee him.
He hasn’t been found guilty of anything and this is still America.
"If the recommendation of a controlled substance is indicated by Dr. Gosy, the assigned supervising physician, if appropriate, may approve and issue the controlled substance prescription.
"Invision Health is sensitive to the opioid epidemic crisis and has always implemented strict policies in regard to controlled substance prescribing," the letter added.
Landi said a Drug Enforcement Administration agent had visited Invision on Wednesday and his understanding was that Gosy could start seeing patients Thursday. He said Gosy has thousands of pain patients, many of whom see Invision doctors for other medical issues.
He also noted that Gosy's arrest in 2016 caused a crisis for his patients because there weren't enough pain management doctors in the area to handle his huge caseload.
The U.S. Attorney's office did not respond to a request for comment, but after Gosy was charged with the patient deaths last year, prosecutors said allowing him to practice medicine, even with restrictions, "presents a danger to his patients and the community." The judge denied the prosecutors' motion at the time.
The indictment accuses Gosy, 55, of handing out prescriptions for opioids including fentanyl, oxycodone, morphine, and hydrocodone without a medical basis to patients who were clearly abusing the medications that have fueled a national crisis.
Prosecutors — who are seeking forfeiture of Gosy's BMW, Porsche and pleasure boat — said he ignored "red flags" including flunked drug tests, "doctor shopping" by patients," claims of lost medications and even tips from family members worried that their loved ones were hooked on pills.
He allegedly signed blank prescriptions that others filled out while he was out of town, and patients were allowed to call in for refills processed by staff who weren't properly trained or certified, prosecutors charged.
Nurse practitioners and physician assistants filled out hundreds of prescriptions a day for patients they barely knew, sometimes without even looking at their charts, the indictment charges.
Gosy also submitted workers' compensation claims for treatment provided by underlings while he was traveling to such far-flung locations as Moscow, Honolulu, Athens and the Dominican Republic.
In a statement last May on a local radio station, Gosy said he was a victim of "wild character assassination." And some of his former patients have said he helped them cope with chronic pain.
"Dr. Gosy is truly my hero. He keeps me mobile," Sheri Johnson, who has been a patient since she was in a car accident 15 years ago, told NBC News after last year's indictment.