The Florida Department of Law Enforcement investigation has been investigating Dr. Thomas Merrill for over a year. Agents say about ten of his patients died of drug overdoses, and at least six of them were due to abuse of drugs prescribed by Merrill.
Documents indicate Merrill was prescribing drugs like OxyContin without any medical justification.'' They say patients have said the doctor commonly prescribed painkillers to them without physical examinations or diagnostic tests, and that he sometimes wrote prescriptions to Medicaid recipients for their family members.
Authorities say several of Merrill's patients were arrested for selling painkillers prescribed by the doctor. One husband-and-wife team has told agents they repeatedly received prescriptions for painkillers like hydrocodone with only limited physical examination at first, and later with no examination.
Merill had practiced medicine in Panama City before moving to Apalachicola several years ago.