It’s safe to assume that when Dr. Myra Mabry took the Hippocratic oath to do no harm, she could not have guessed that she would face up to 20 years in prison for illegal distribution of opioids, health care fraud and obstruction of justice.
The harm caused by Mabry, an obstetrician-gynecologist who once practiced in Catskill and Hudson, may be incalculable. She wrote numerous prescriptions for painkillers to third parties for no legitimate medical purpose and then instructed a co-conspirator to fill those prescriptions by impersonating the named patients at pharmacies knowing that health care benefit programs would pay the cost of the drugs.
This is the insidious front in the war on opioid abuse.
Mabry wrote prescriptions for opioids as part of a scheme with her girlfriend, a former heroin addict, the federal Drug Enforcement Agency said. Mabry issued 51 prescriptions for oxycodone between May 20, 2015 and Jan. 30, 2017. Many of the prescriptions were filled at the pharmacy at the Price Chopper in Catskill under the names of Mabry’s patients, the DEA said.
Mabry even conceived an elaborate plot instructing her girlfriend to falsely testify before a federal grand jury that Mabry was the target of extortion,” the DEA said. Mabry agreed to pay her girlfriend for giving false testimony in the hope of minimizing her criminal exposure and keeping her medical license.
This is not a story with a happy ending. And it isn’t comforting to know that a doctor who we can presume was trusted implicitly by her patients was contributing to opioid abuse instead of fighting against it, not to mention defrauding the health care system.
The offenses Mabry pleaded guilty to are as bad as those purveyed by common drug dealers on the street. It’s sad and troubling. It’s an abuse of trust all its own.