Brigham City doctor indicted over multiple pain pill prescriptions

Aug 5 2010 - 10:12pm

BRIGHAM CITY -- A federal grand jury indicted a Brigham City doctor Thursday on 130 counts of distributing controlled substances without a legitimate medical purpose and outside the usual course of professional treatment.

Dr. Dewey C. MacKay III, 63, an orthopedic surgeon, is alleged to have routinely issued prescriptions for controlled substances without conducting a medically sufficient examination.

The first two counts of the indictment allege MacKay distributed oxycodone and hydrocodone tablets to an individual resulting in death.

In 2008, authorities said they believe MacKay issued a patient a duplicate prescription after another doctor refused to write a prescription for an early refill, leading to the patient's overdose death. The potential penalties of those counts include a minimum mandatory 20 years and a $2 million fine or up to 15 years and a $500,000 fine.

MacKay has practiced orthopedic medicine in Brigham City since 1981 and opened a solo practice in 2007. In December 2008, authorities seized $164,000 and two SUVs from MacKay during the investigation.

From about 2005 through February 2007, according to the indictment, MacKay saw and prescribed to as many as 100-120 patients per eight-hour day. From March 2007 through at least October 2009, MacKay saw and prescribed to as many as 59 patients per four-to-five-hour day.

According to records maintained by the state of Utah, between June 2, 2005, and Oct. 30, 2009, MacKay issued 20,612 prescriptions for hydrocodone products of all strengths totaling more than 1.9 million pills. He issued 17,140 prescriptions for oxycodone products of all strengths totaling nearly 1.6 million pills. Between Jan. 1, 2005, and June 5, 2008, MacKay had the fourth-highest volume of prescriptions of oxycodone products in Utah and the highest volume of prescriptions for hydrocodone products in the state.

MacKay will be issued a summons to appear in federal court on the charges.

The case is being investigated by the DEA, FBI, Box Elder Narcotics Strike Force, Utah Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing, Logan City Police Department and other members of the Utah Pharmaceutical Drug Crime Project.

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