Physician admits to illegally prescribing pain pills in WVa

BECKLEY, W.Va. (AP) — A physician had admitted to illegally prescribing pain pills in southern West Virginia, federal prosecutors said.

Dr. William Earley, 63, pleaded guilty to distributing oxycodone without a legitimate medical purpose.

Prosecutors said Earley worked at a Charleston pain clinic but had no formal training for treating chronic pain. Earley indicated that patient files were poorly kept and often contained little relevant medical information.

Earley admitted prescribing oxycodone to a patient who had reported his medication stolen. Earley did not conduct a physical examination and did not address the patient’s failed drug tests or the possibility of addiction or diversion, prosecutors said.

Earley faces up to 10 years in federal prison. His sentencing was set for May 11.