Philadelphia Doctor Charged in Accidental Overdose Death of Patient

March 11, 2021

A Pennsylvania doctor has been arrested for irresponsible and dangerous prescription practices that led to the death of his patient.

Agents from the Office of the Attorney General and United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) arrested Dr. Walter Wrenn for charges relating to the death of his patient.

“Dr. Wrenn had a duty to care for his patients, and he failed by recklessly prescribing highly addictive medications which continue to fuel overdose deaths across Pennsylvania,” said Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro in a press release issued by his office. “My office will continue to hold individuals accountable who knowingly put the lives of others at risk.”

An investigation revealed that on March 2, 2019, the patient filled prescriptions for 60 units of Morphine, 180 units of Oxycodone, 90 units of Alprazolam and 60 units of Temazepam. The next day, On March 3, 2019, the patient died as a result of an accidental overdose from cocaine, oxycodone and morphine.

The investigation showed that Dr. Wrenn fabricated the patient’s diagnosis in order for Keystone First to approve filling the prescribed medications. The patient’s opioid prescriptions far exceeded the recommended 90 milligrams per day.

On Keystone First’s authorization form, Dr. Wrenn stated that the patient had “metastatic lung cancer.” A review of medical records from their family doctor, hospital admission records and the autopsy report show that the patient never had metastatic lung cancer. Keystone First relied upon this false information and approved medications that were paid with Medicaid funds.

Dr. Wrenn is being charged with drug delivery resulting in death, involuntary manslaughter, violation of the Drug Act, recklessly endangering another person, tampering with public records and Medicaid fraud.

The case is being prosecuted by Senior Deputy Attorney General Eric Stryd. Any current patients of Dr. Wrenn who need assistance in locating a new medical provider or need assistance accessing medication should contact the Pennsylvania Department of Health’s Patient Advocacy Program.

Source: The Pennsylvania Office of the Attorney General

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