An Oklahoma doctor was charged with five counts of second-degree murder on Friday, after prosecutors say she prescribed a “horrifyingly excessive” amount of painkillers to her patients, according to News 9.
The charges against Regan Nichols reflect a new front in the war against opioid abuse in the U.S.
Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter (R) said the osteopathic physician “knowingly prescribed controlled dangerous substances” with an “extreme disregard for human life.”
Nichols signed prescriptions for a total of 1,800 painkillers to five patients who saw her from 2010 to 2013. The patients later died of drug toxicity.
The Oklahoma State Board of Osteopathic Examiners stripped the doctor of her ability to prescribe controlled dangerous substances in September 2015.
The news comes as the Trump administration and other levels of government work to combat opioid abuse in the U.S.
There are fears that cuts to Medicaid under the GOP ObamaCare repeal-and-replace plan could exacerbate the national opioid epidemic that took more American lives last year than the Vietnam War.