Pill-Pushing Doctor Arrested After 36 Patients Die

Pill-Pushing Doctor Arrested After 36 Patients Die
Science & Medicine

A Jonesboro, Georgia psychiatrist is being called “Dr. Death” after 36 of his patients died, 12 of them from prescription drug overdoses.

Dr. Narenda Nagareddy was recently arrested and his office was raided by nearly 40 DEA agents. Nagareddy is accused of violating Georgia’s Controlled Substance Act, essentially running a “pill mill.”

The term “pill mill” refers to medical offices that dispense prescription medication for no true medical purpose without a physical exam, and often accept only cash.

Nagareddy won’t be able to get his hands on that cash for much longer, as in addition to criminal charges, Clayton County District Attorney Tracy Graham Lawson’s office also filed a RICO civil action to seize the doctor’s assets. [1]

“He’s 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,” said Clayton County police chief Mike Register.

“People come to this person for help, and instead of getting help, they’re met with deadly consequences.

“If the allegations are true, he is Dr. Death, no doubt about it.”

Since Nagareddy’s license was issued in 1999, multiple complaints have been filed against him dating back several years relating to his overprescribing of drugs. Legal documents state: “Former and current patients have admitted to obtaining controlled substance prescriptions from Dr. Nagareddy without having a legitimate medical need.”

It is believed the psychiatrist’s arrest was the result of the death of 29-year-old Audrey Austin, a mother of 2 who died of a fatal drug overdose merely days after visiting Nagareddy in February 2014.

“She was an addict and he made it very easy for her,” her mother Ruth Carr said.

Austin was fresh out of rehab when she went to see Nagareddy, Carr said. Her daughter overdosed on 1 of 2 of the drugs the psychiatrist prescribed her just the day before.

“I knew that he was doing this with people other than my daughter,” Carr said. “I knew that she wasn’t the only one.” [2]

In fact, 36 of Nagareddy’s patients died “while being prescribed controlled substances” from the alleged pill-pusher.

The allegations against Nagareddy began in 2010, when one online reviewer wrote that he was kept “wasted on 7 different drugs.”

On RateMds, one of the doctor’s patients wrote, “If you want help, keep looking or you’ll end up in rehab.

And on Vitals.com, another person wrote that she paid $75 for “basically the 60 seconds it takes to fill out a prescription.”

“It’s by no means a personal, ‘open up and tell me what’s going on’ type of relationship,” the patient wrote. “It’s a ‘hurry pay me’ on his end, and a ‘hurry write the Rxs so I can leave’ on my end!”

Yet another reviewer wrote:

“This guy is nothing but a legal drug pusher” and goes on to say “He seems to believe that prescribing MULTIPLE sedatives, several times per day is the answer for anxiety. He will trash you with DRUGS. It would be in your best interest to stay away from this QUACK.”

Shockingly, in light of the allegations, the State Board of Medical Examiners said Nagareddy was never disciplined and has no criminal convictions, medical malpractice suits or medical settlements. [3]

Now a sign hangs on the door of Nagareddy’s office, urging people with drug addiction to call Georgia’s crisis line.

“He’s charged with prescribing pain medication which is outside his profession as a psychiatrist and not for a legitimate purpose for the patient,” said Lawson.


[1] New York Daily News

[2] Daily Mail

[3] Independent