Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

DOCTOR COULDN'T CALL NEW PATIENTS LIARS Series: OVERDOSED: HOW DOCTORS WROTE THE SCRIPT FOR AN EPIDEMIC

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

DOCTOR COULDN'T CALL NEW PATIENTS LIARS Series: OVERDOSED: HOW DOCTORS WROTE THE SCRIPT FOR AN EPIDEMIC

Article excerpt

Sheldon L. Margulies had been practicing medicine for 40 years when, in 2011, he started seeing a new type of patient.

"One patient came to me and said, 'I have this problem,' and I said, OK," said Dr. Margulies, of Silver Spring, Md., in a March interview. "And then more came. ... I said, Jesus, that's a lot of people out there.

"They were stable, they were all working, they had families, they were raising kids." They were also on massive doses of painkillers.

He didn't cut them off, though he was sometimes at a loss to diagnose their pain. "In order to say, 'You're not getting these drugs,' you have to tell them they're lying" about their pain.

He learned that his new patients had been treated by Silviu Ziscovici of nearby Rockville. …

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