SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — A Northern California physician pleaded not guilty Monday to prescribing powerful painkillers and sedatives without a legitimate medical reason.
Dr. Edmund Kemprud entered the plea to a 14-count federal grand jury indictment, the U.S. attorney’s office announced.
Kemprud, who had practices in Dublin in the San Francisco Bay Area and in the San Joaquin County community of Tracy, was charged with illegally prescribing the drugs on 14 occasions in 2018 and this year.
The prescribed drugs included the opioids hydrocodone and oxycodone and alprazolam, which is sold under Xanax and other trade names. The indictment alleged that Kemprud prescribed them “outside the usual course of professional practice and not for legitimate medical purpose.”
“Doctors take an oath to ‘first, do no harm.’ Prescribing powerful opiates without legitimate medical purpose violates that principle and the law. It places profits above patient welfare and the community suffers the consequences,” William C. Fallin of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration said in a statement.
Kemprud could face up to 20 years in prison if convicted.