AG Shapiro, 44th Investigating Statewide Grand Jury: Bethlehem Doctor Charged With Unlawful Prescribing

September 29, 2020 | Topic: Criminal

HARRISBURG—Attorney General Josh Shapiro today announced that the 44th Investigating Statewide Grand Jury recommended charges against Dr. Ajeeb Titus for felony violations of the Drug Act. Titus is charged with prescribing medications such as oxycontin, oxycodone, and fentanyl outside his legal and ethical practice of medicine.

“Dr. Titus was trusted by his community to carefully and thoughtfully write prescriptions in his patients’ best interests. Instead, he used his access to prescribe highly addictive medications that are fueling the opioid crisis in Pennsylvania, and for his own gain,” said Attorney General Shapiro. “My office will continue to hold individuals accountable who recklessly put the lives of others at risk.”

Dr. Titus failed to prescribe controlled substances in accordance with accepted treatment principles. He also failed to keep accurate medical records supporting the high volume of controlled substances that he prescribed. During patient appointments, he failed to perform routine exams on his patients, and instead asked what medications the patient wanted.

A doctor who reviewed Titus’s patient files informed agents of at least 5 instances in which Titus prescribed high quantities of opioids to individuals with a previous history of opioid dependence. Titus prescribed these medications while knowing that his patients had a previous history of opioid dependence.

In one instance, Titus prescribed fentanyl patches and doses of morphine to a patient who explicitly told him of their plan to sell the prescriptions on the street. This patient was directed to visit Titus’s office after-hours on several occasions, meeting the doctor at a side door.

A patient who suffered from opioid-related substance abuse disorder for several years told agents that Titus is a known “script writer” and “ruins lives.”

Attorney General Shapiro is dedicated to combating the opioid epidemic on all fronts, touting a 58% increase in diversion arrests since taking office.

“Cutting off the source of these prescription drugs falling into the wrong hands is imperative to tackling this epidemic that steals the lives of 12 Pennsylvanians a day,” said Attorney General Shapiro.

Senior Deputy Attorney General Christie Bonesch is prosecuting the case. Palmer Township Police Department and Bethlehem Township Police Department also assisted in the investigation.

All charges discussed are accusations. The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

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