Federal court bars Grand Rapids physician from prescribing controlled substances

Civil judgement ordered over forged opioid prescriptions
(AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)
Published: Jul. 25, 2022 at 5:15 PM EDT
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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WILX) - A Grand Rapids doctor has been forbidden by a U.S. court from ever again writing prescriptions for controlled substances.

David D. Sova, D.O., entered into a settlement with the United States in which he agreed to the court order, receiving a fine and a lifetime ban from writing prescriptions in exchange for skipping a lengthy trial. The terms of the consent decree entered by U.S. District Court Judge Jane M. Beckering require Sova to pay $170,000 in civil penalties to resolve the United States’ allegations that he forged opioid prescriptions for his own use.

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The U.S., represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew J. Hull, alleged that Sova issued prescriptions for controlled substances without a legitimate medical purpose and outside the usual course of professional practice in violation of the Controlled Substances Act. Hull argued that Sova issued prescriptions for the opioids oxycodone and hydrocodone, purportedly written for one of his patients.

However, the patient never received these prescriptions. Instead, Sova arranged for the prescriptions to be filled and collected for his own personal use.

This case was investigated by DEA and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Michigan. Orville Greene is the Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent in Charge for the Detroit Field Division,

“Medical and dental professionals must not abuse the privilege of prescribing controlled substances,” Greene said. “DEA will continue to work with all levels of law enforcement to investigate allegations of unlawful prescribing.”

Mark A. Totten is U.S. District Attorney for the Western District of Michigan.

“Responsibility to protect against diversion of controlled substances starts with the provider,” said Totten. “When a physician breaks the rules and diverts controlled substances for their own use, they cannot be entrusted to prescribe controlled substances to others and must face the legal consequences of their own misconduct. My office will continue to work with DEA and state law enforcement to enforce compliance with controlled substance prescribing laws.”

While the claims have been resolved by the consent decree, they are allegations only and there has been no determination of liability.

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