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Charges in (Frank Fisher, M.D.) Medi-Cal case tossed; 
Refiling expected when glitch is solved
 

by Chronicle Staff Report; The San Francisco Chronicle, January 15, 2003
Bay Area section, Final Edition
Posted 10/22/2004: [www.doctordeluca.com/Library/FisherChargesDropped1-03 .htm].

Prosecutors dropped all remaining charges on the day of trial Tuesday in the case of Dr. Frank B. Fisher, a Shasta County physician, and two pharmacists accused in an alleged drug scheme blamed for causing at least three overdose deaths.

But a spokeswoman for the California attorney general's office said the charges would be refiled, probably within a week. "It's not that the case has changed at all," said spokeswoman Hallye Jordan. "We intend to proceed."

The charges were dropped in Shasta County Superior Court because of a procedural glitch in obtaining certain computer files, she said, and will be renewed as soon as the files are in hand.

Fisher and pharmacists Stephen and Madeline Miller faced conspiracy charges in connection with an alleged plot to bilk the state Medi-Cal program by prescribing high-dose narcotics to people who did not need the drugs for medical reasons.

Charges initially included multiple counts of murder. A judge reduced the most serious charges to manslaughter in July 1999.

Fisher is a Harvard-educated physician who specialized in treating cases of chronic pain among mostly low-income Medi-Cal recipients in the Redding area. He and the Millers were arrested in February 1999.

A complaint has been brought against Fisher by the Medical Board of California, which suspended his license to practice medicine until the criminal case was resolved. A board spokeswoman said Tuesday that officials planned to meet shortly to review their options.

During a telephone interview Tuesday, Fisher insisted that he did nothing wrong and said he wanted to pick up his medical practice as before.

"I would like to re-establish the community health center I was running," Fisher said. "My patients have suffered, and there's no question in my mind that my patients will be quick to return."

 

 

Addiction, Pain, and Public Health website

Alexander DeLuca, M.D.

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Originally posted:  1/15/2003

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