A psychiatrist arrested for running a pill mill has been charged with 36 deaths. The Georgia psychiatrist, Dr Narendra Nagareddy, was taken into custody after DEA agents raided his office near Atlanta on Thursday, according to WAFB.
Nagareddy is accused of running a pill mill, including prescribing pain medications that are beyond his purview as a psychiatrist. Clayton County jail records show he is charged with unlawful prescribing of narcotics after he was arrested.
“He is a psychiatrist in Jonesboro who has been overprescribing opiates and benzodiazepine and the last several years has had a multitude of overdoses and overdose deaths,” Clayton County Police Chief Mike Register told the news station.
The psychiatrist arrested was under investigation after former and current patients of Nagareddy have admitted to getting pain medications for which they had no medical need. Court documents show that 36 of his patients have died while being prescribed narcotics, and autopsies confirmed at least 12 of them died of overdoses.
Aside from the criminal charges, the Clayton County District Attorney’s Office has also filed a RICO civil action to seize psychiatrist assets. Investigators searched his home after they were done with his office.
Longtime patients of the psychiatrist expressed disbelief on social media, some showing concern over having to find a new doctor. Others offered prayers for those affected by the deaths in the case.
“I am so thankful that over the last nine years, while he was killing the people who trusted him, God kept me and my Dad safe,” said one woman who had been a patient at Nagareddy’s practice since she was 17. “I am truly shocked that someone would kill innocent people just to make money. I pray for God to be with the victims families, and for everyone affected by this horrible tragedy and betrayal of trust.”
The psychiatrist arrested was issued his doctor’s license in 1999. The psychiatrist is certified with the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology.
“The search warrant [alleges] 36 of his patients have died, 12 of whom were autopsied with cause of death being overdose on prescription medication,” said the Clayton County District Attorney.
According to the State Board of Medical Examiners, the psychiatrist has no disciplinary action, no criminal convictions, no medical malpractice suits and no medical settlements. There are several online complaints dating back several years, calling into question the very thing he’s now under investigation for.
The psychiatrist arrested is accused of violating Georgia’s Controlled Substance Act. Clayton County District Attorney Tracy Graham Lawson says Nagareddy is being charged with prescribing pain medication outside of his profession and not for a legitimate use.