An 81-year-old Manhattan family practitioner who allegedly prescribed more than 2 million pain pills over the past five years was charged Monday in Brooklyn federal court with writing illegal prescriptions.
Dr. Martin Tesher, who practiced out of an East 68th Street office near Central Park, prescribed opioids to some patients despite knowing they were addicted, prosecutors said.
The government cited one case in which Tesher provided a prescription for 15 oxycodone painkiller pills a day on his first visit with a patient without even checking to verify the patient’s injury.
Tesher was released on a $250,000 bond after a brief appearance Monday afternoon. He waived his right to prescribe Class II through V controlled substances, but will still be able to prescribe nonaddictive drugs such as antibiotics.
“Dr. Tesher acted no differently than a multimillion-dollar heroin ring, distributing more than $20 million worth of opioids,” said James Hunt, head of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s New York office.
“In fact,” Hunt added, “by using his position as a family practitioner, he enabled patients seeking help for substance abuse and turned new patients into opioid addicts by writing unnecessary prescriptions in exchange for cash.”
Tesher did not comment outside court, but on his website he describes himself as a “good old fashioned family doctor,” who emphasizes listening and compassion.
He said at his bail hearing that his East Side medical practice has been grossing $66,000 a month.
In addition to pain management, his website said his specialties range include acne, hair removal, Botox, psychiatry and Alzheimer’s disease.