OKLAHOMA CITY – Attorney General Mike Hunter today charged a nurse practitioner and her supervising physician with one count each of unlawful distribution of a controlled dangerous substance after an investigation by his office and the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs (OBNDD).
Dr. Azuka Egbuniwe, 48, is accused of signing prescriptions for schedule II substances for patients she never met with while working as a supervising physician for nurse practitioner Addie Gratz, 43, who owns the First Choice Wellness Center in Tishomingo.
Although nurse practitioners in Oklahoma are not required to have physician supervision to practice, state law requires physicians to supervise nurse practitioners when prescribing certain kinds of medication, like schedule II drugs.
Attorney General Hunter commended the joint effort between his office and the OBNDD.
“I appreciate the resources and assistance provided by the OBNDD on this case,” Attorney General Hunter said. “These charges are an example of the commitment by my office to work across agency lines to safeguard the public from the minority within a minority of prescribers who abuse their authority.”
According to the affidavit, during an interview with Dr. Egbuniwe, she said her visits to First Choice Wellness Center consisted of sitting in an office, reviewing patient charts and prescription histories, as well as signing and pre-dating prescriptions for schedule II substances.
Additionally, interviews with patients who received hydrocodone confirmed only dealing with Gratz and never meeting with Dr. Egbuniwe.
All defendants are innocent until proven guilty.
For the probable cause affidavit, click here.
For more information, click here and here.