South Fort Myers doctor acquitted of illegally prescribing pain killers

A federal jury has acquitted a south Fort Myers doctor charged with illegally prescribing more than a half-million pain killers to 10 patients over a decade.

After a two-week trial, 12 jurors deliberated an hour Monday before acquitting Dr. Debra Roggow of overprescribing pain killers, including morphine, Percocet and Oxycodone to her chronic pain patients at her clinic, Rehabilitation Consultants. U.S. District Court Judge John Steele then ruled the osteopath was exonerated.

"The jurors just told us the government should not be involved in prescribing drugs," defense attorney Lee Hollander said after jurors discussed their verdict with him, Roggow, co-counsel Jennifer Bolen and lead defense attorney Amira Fox.

"The 10 patients were actual patients with chronic pain. This was not a pill mill-type case."

Jurors heard closing arguments Monday morning after a trial that involved 18 witnesses, a battle of medical experts, and Roggow testifying for 11 hours in her own defense. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Doug Molloy.

"The acquittal of Dr. Debra Roggow is a clear demonstration of how the American legal system works," said office spokesman William Daniels. "In this case, the government presented its evidence to a jury and they exercised their responsibilities in accordance with the law."

Roggow, whose 18-year license was suspended in December 2010, said she will work on reinstatement.

"It feels great," Roggow said. "It's a wonderful relief. It's a wonderful day for all doctors, especially those who treat chronic pain. My patients needed painkillers. This is definitely a huge burden that has been alleviated."

Roggow, who maintained she was targeted during a pill mill crackdown, was arrested in October and a federal grand jury handed up a 10-count indictment a month later.

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Comments » 1

n7lima writes:

Great Job Doctor Roggow. Way to stand your ground. Im truly happy for you for putting the care of your patients first. So many Pain Management Doctors have been running scared since your arrest. Your victory is shared by Doctors and Patients alike. I hope you will be able to rebuild your practice!!

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