Grand Rapids doctor banned from prescribing controlled substances in court settlement

GRAND RAPIDS, MI — A Grand Rapids doctor was barred from prescribing controlled substances as part of a settlement in federal court after he allegedly forged opioid prescriptions for his own use.

Dr. David Sova reached a settlement agreement with the United States, in which he accepted a court order never to prescribe controlled substances, according to a July 25 press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Michigan.

U.S. District Court Judge Jane M. Beckering ordered Sova to pay $170,000 in civil fines to resolve allegations by the U.S. Attorney’s Office that the doctor forged opioid prescriptions for its own use.

Federal officials accused Sova of acting in violation of the Controlled Substances Act by issuing prescriptions for controlled substances without a legitimate medical purpose, according to the statement. Sova allegedly wrote prescriptions for the opioids oxycodone and hydrocodone for one of his patients and instead used them for himself, according to the statement.

The patient who was prescribed the opioids never received them because Sova arranged for them to be filled and picked up for his personal use, federal officials said.

“The responsibility to protect against the diversion of controlled substances rests with the supplier,” U.S. Attorney Mark A. Totten said in a prepared statement.

“When a doctor breaks the rules and diverts controlled substances for his own use, he cannot be responsible for prescribing controlled substances to others and must face the legal consequences of his own misconduct.”

The case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the US Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Michigan. Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew J. Hull represented the United States in the case, the statement said.

“Health and dental professionals must not abuse the privilege of prescribing controlled substances,” said Orville Greene, DEA Special Agent in Charge, Detroit Field Division. “The DEA will continue to work with all levels of law enforcement to investigate allegations of illegal prescription.”

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