The Office of State Attorney Glenn Hess announces that on January 24, 2017, a Jackson county jury found former physician, David Flick, guilty of two counts of conspiracy to traffic in oxycodone, one count of conspiracy to traffic in hydrocodone, and six counts of principal to obtaining a controlled substance by fraud. The case was the result of an extensive investigation by Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) investigators and agents and task force officers from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.
During two days of witness testimony, Assistant State Attorney Laura Parish proved to jurors that David Flick had committed these crimes through the testimony of eleven witnesses and the introduction of 138 exhibits. Evidence was presented showing that David Flick had written over 1,000 prescriptions for controlled substances, amounting to a total of 49,896 pills, from his residence during a nine month period spanning February to November of 2015. Witness testimony showed that during this period David Flick had written prescriptions, generally without any examination, in exchange most often for cash, but at other times as part of an agreement that the person recruit other “patients” to come to him to also receive prescriptions in exchange for cash.
Expert testimony from Dr. Reuben Hoch revealed that a review of the medical files of David Flick showed that the doctor was “grossly inadequate” in both his record keeping and in the practice of pain management. Dr. Hoch detailed many troubling details regarding the review of the files and stated that David Flick had been regularly prescribing patients a prescription combination of opioids and benzodiazepines, a potentially lethal cocktail of substances, that could have led to the patient’s death if taken as prescribed.
Further testimony showed that David Flick required patients to give his live-in girlfriend a portion of the controlled substances once the prescriptions he wrote were filled as part of what was described as a “kickback” program. The two and eventually others actively recruited individuals, predominantly opioid addicts from the Bay County area, to travel to his Marianna residence to pay $175-$300 in exchange for receiving prescriptions for a variety of substances to include Hydrocodone, Oxycodone, Xanax, Valium, Ativan, Ambien, Subutex, and Methadone. Other co-conspirators were encouraged by David Flick to take half of the pills once the controlled substance prescription was filled in exchange for the introduction to the doctor or in exchange for the ride to his residence in Marianna from Bay County.
Evidence also showed that David Flick had at times traded prescriptions for illegal substances, such as crack cocaine, and had watched patients snort the Oxycodone he was prescribing them and had knowledge that others were using the controlled substances intravenously.
Multiple former patients testified that their opioid addictions were much worse after having seen David Flick and receiving prescriptions from him. One stated, “it was the easiest thing I ever did,” but went on to say the patient’s opioid addiction, which began in 1996, was worse than it had ever been after engaging with David Flick in 2015. Another described the process as being easy access to controlled substances and a way to receive a prescription for a quantity of 90 Oxycodone tablets in exchange for $200 instead of the $40-$60 a pill they had been paying buying drugs “off the street” in Bay County and surrounding areas. Further testimony showed that David Flick had knowledge that some of his “patients” were selling the prescriptions once filled, however, he continued to write prescriptions to that person knowing that the pills were being sold on the street.
At the conclusion of the three day trial the jury took a little over an hour to return a verdict of guilty as charged on all counts. Judge Christopher Patterson set sentencing for February 13, 2018, at 9 AM.
For additional information, contact Chief Assistant State Attorney Larry Basford.