Thursday, March 01, 2001

Doctor says OxyContin raid just 'publicity stunt'

By Alan Maimon
The (Louisville) Courier-Journal

        PAINTSVILLE, Ky. — An Eastern Kentucky doctor whose office was raided this week by federal and state investigators said the search was a “publicity stunt” to draw attention to a crackdown on the prescription drug OxyContin.

        But Dr. Frederick Cohn, whose practice remained busy Wednesday, the day after the raid, said he does not prescribe the powerful pain medicine at his clinic. Signs at Dr. Cohn's office — which he calls a pain clinic — tell patients he does not prescribe OxyContin and four other pain medications. “If you need these medications, please seek another physician,” the sign says.

        State police say the search warrant carried out Monday was not part of a sweeping probe of illegal trafficking in OxyContin, a synthetic morphine that is highly addictive and has been blamed for 59 deaths in Kentucky since January 2000. More than 200 people have been indicted in the OxyContin investigation.

        “The investigation (of Dr. Cohn) is not directly related to OxyContin,” Trooper Scott Hopkins said.

        On Monday morning, state police, assisted by FBI and federal Drug Enforcement Administration agents, removed boxes of medical files from Dr. Cohn's office in Paintsville and questioned patients who arrived for appointments. Dr. Cohn's home also was searched.

        No charges have been filed against Dr. Cohn. Seven people were arrested outside his office during the raid, most on charges of driving under the influence of drugs, authorities said.


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