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DA: unlicensed physician sold prescriptions

A Ridgewood physician whose license to practice medicine was revoked nearly six years ago has been charged with selling drug prescriptions for highly addictive medications — such as Vicodin — for between $50 and $100 for each prescription.
“Despite having had his medical license revoked in January 2003 for defrauding patients, insurance companies and the government, the defendant has been charged with flagrantly disregarding the law by continuing to practice medicine and allowing individuals to obtain powerful drugs for cash - without consideration for the health of the buyer or the medical necessity of the drugs,” said District Attorney Richard A. Brown.
Chaggrit Sawangkao, 69, of 1819 Putnam Avenue in Ridgewood, is charged in a 23-count complaint with 10 counts of second-degree criminal possession of a prescription, one count of second-degree criminal diversion of prescription medications and prescriptions, one count of unauthorized practice of a profession (medicine), 10 counts of first-degree falsifying business records and one count of first-degree scheme to defraud.
If convicted, he faces up to seven years in prison.
According to the charges, Sawangkao used one of his old prescription pads on two occasions — May 29 and July 23 of this year — to write five prescriptions each time for the generic form of Vicodin-ES, which he then sold for a total of $250 to undercover investigators working with the New York State Department of Health’s Bureau of Narcotics Enforcement and the Queens District Attorney’s Office.
The investigation further revealed, it is charged, that approximately 80 prescriptions written by Sawangkao were filled at more than 10 different pharmacies both in New York State and Pennsylvania for an estimated 12,000 Schedule III and IV Narcotic pills.

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