Grand Jury Indicted Area Physician on More Than 100 Drug Related Charges

A northwest Florida doctor is facing charges for allegedly over prescribing powerful pain medications without performing examinations.

A federal grand jury has indicted Dr. Thomas Merrill of Panama City who practices at a clinic in Apalachicola on more than 100 counts.

The grand jury investigation involved several federal and state agencies including the state attorney general's office.

Attorney General Charlie Crist says some of the prescriptions may have led to several deaths.

"We think it's important Florida continue to make a strong statement about those who prescribe these types of drugs in an illegal fashion. Florida takes this seriously. The charges will continue to be brought when necessary."

Crist says the indictment charges that Dr. Merrill prescribed pain killers like Oxycodone and Percocet and tranquilizers without determining a sufficient medical need. It also charges he prescribed excessive quantities of the drugs.