Patients of Nixa, Mo. doctor accused in fentanyl prescription scheme speak out
A long list of federal charges against an Ozarks doctor didn't surprise some of his former patients. We heard from them today, one day after Randall Halley of Nixa was accused in a multi-million dollar fentanyl prescription scheme. Halley practiced at a clinic in Nixa and several nursing homes across the Ozarks.
Darlene didn't want to show her face or use her full name to protect her husband's privacy. "All I can say is he's lucky to be alive today," Darlene says.
She says she and her husband saw Dr. Randall Halley at the recently closed Ozark Community Hospital Nixa clinic. She says drugs Halley prescribed left her husband with dementia-like symptoms and permanent ED. Darlene says, "That hasn't been part of our marriage, which has really made it difficult."
Darlene says Halley prescribed long lists of medications. "Before I knew it, I was on like 17 meds," says Darlene. "When I mentioned how embarrassed I was being on all these meds, he says, "Oh I have patients on way more meds than that.""
Her husband's list included three powerful narcotics for neck pain.
"Before we knew it, my husband was addicted to them, and it was really hard for him to get off of them, but he did," says Darlene.
Another patient, Caitlin, fears retaliation, so didn't want to use her full name or show her face. "What really bothered me, is he looked me in the eye and said, "Don't run out.""
Caitlin says Halley also prescribed her a powerful pain medication as a teen for a case of whiplash. "Why would you give a 16 year old a high powered narcotic pain medication for an acute condition that is treatable with over the counter medications?" Caitlin says.
Now a nurse, Caitlin knows now how serious it could have been. She saw another of Halley's patients die from an accidental overdose.
"It's just so concerning that there's a physician out there possibly getting teenagers, that aren't even adults yet, addicted to pain medication," Caitlin says.
In a federal indictment filed Thursday, investigators say Halley wrote more than 355 prescriptions for a fentanyl spray meant for cancer patients over the the last six years. He also gave 27 presentations on the drug, and the pharmaceutical company paid him more than $92,000.
Halley's attorney, Thomas Carver, believes the government has overreached, and says he looks forward to proving Halley's innocence in court.
OCH says it's Nixa clinic's closure is not related to the indictment, but that staff were relocated for a walk-in clinic in north Springfield. OCH says Dr. Halley has not worked for the company for more than six months.
Ozark Community Hospital sent us this statement:
"Ozarks Community Hospital will respect the process and not comment with specific information. OCH has been and will continue to be as transparent and cooperative with investigators as possible.
OCH continues to focus on providing quality care to difficult patient populations who are often denied access to healthcare. "
Randall Halley made his first appearance in federal court Friday and was released on bond. He already has a trial scheduled for March 16th.