NEW ULM - Dr. David Christopher Miller, a physician with the Physicians Group of New Ulm and a consulting doctor for the New Ulm Evaluation Center, has been charged with stealing the pain medication Oxycontin from a vulnerable adult.
Three felony controlled substance charges were filed in Brown County Distict Court this week.
According to the criminal complaint, Miller allegedly took the medication from a patient, and tried to mask the theft by replacing the pills with over-the-counter drugs.
Dr. David Christopher Miller
The incident was initially brought to the New Ulm Police Department when staff at an unnamed assisted living facility noticed the pills in the prescription bottles were different from those delivered. When New Ulm investigators contacted the family of the vulnerable adult, they were informed that the family thought it was unusual that Miller made house calls to assist in the medication sorting.
Miller, 59, was apprehended at the assisted living facility on Feb. 11 by NUPD and taken to jail. He has since been admitted to detox in Albert Lea, according the Brown County Jail administrator.
During the investigation, police set up hidden surveillance cameras and recorded Miller stealing the pills during his meeting with the patient. The meeting took approximately 12 minutes. The pills were later recovered in Miller's coat pocket.
Sixty pills were delivered to the patient, according to the complaint. A police officer removed 56 pills from Miller and took them as evidence. Miller admitted to the officer that he had consumed three of the pills, according to the complaint.
A Brown County official with direct involvement with Brown County's detox center confirmed Miller has worked at the facility as a consulting doctor from New Ulm Medical Center. The responsibilities cover consulting with officials at the detox center on how to handle medical or health problems with new client admissions.
Miller has previously reported and received disciplinary action over multiple forms of substance abuse by the Minnesota Board of Medical Practice.
The Board filed a Corrective Action against Miller on July 16, 1994. At that time, he was confirmed to have sought treatment at The Terraces in Ephrata, Pa. for depression and alcohol/chemical dependency. In addition to alcohol, he used cannabis several times weekly and took five to 30 Percocet tablets daily under the guise of obtaining "samples." The order says he later wrote prescriptions for himself under false patient names and abused other drugs like tranquilizers, barbiturates, amphetamines and hallucinogens.
He was ordered to abstain from controlled substances and to undergo treatment. but he violated the terms two months later by writing prescriptions to himself for Precodan and Percocet. He received a Disciplinary Action by the Board on March 11, 1995 and had his medical license restricted. His license was reinstated without conditions on Sept. 9, 2000 after following the terms of his Disciplinary Action.
Miller's profile with the New Ulm Medical Center's website lists one of his special interests as addiction medicine.
New Ulm Medical Center released this statement: "New Ulm Medical Center is aware of the charges pending against Dr. David Christopher Miller, a physician with the Physician's Group of New Ulm who is on the medical staff at NUMC. At this point, we are still gathering information on the charges and any follow-up by NUMC will be handled internally and confidentially."
Police are investigating to see if there were any other victims or further thefts of medications at the hospital.
(Josh Moniz can be e-mailed at firstname.lastname@example.org)