LAWRENCE, Mass (WWLP) – A family medicine physician was indicted for illegally prescribing a controlled substance and defrauding MassHealth, the state’s Medicaid program.

The office of Attorney General Maura Healey said 69-year-old Dr. Ramon Suarez-Martinez of Methuen, a former medical director at Lawrence Medical Center, was charged by a grand jury with the following charges:

  • Illegal Prescribing of a Controlled Substance (12 counts, in connection with 6 patients)
  • Medicaid False Claims (6 counts)

An investigation on Dr. Suarez-Martinez found that he was prescribing controlled substances like amphetamines, benzodiazepines, and morphine sulfate to his patients after knowing, from repeated urine drug screens, that they were not taking the drugs. The Attorney General said Dr. Suarez-Martinez also knowingly prescribed drugs like clonazepam (a benzodiazepine), amphetamines, and morphine sulfate (an opiate) for no legitimate medical reason. The illegal prescribing of these drugs also resulted in false claims billed and paid for by MassHealth.

In some scenarios, patients tested negative for using the prescribed drugs but positive for cocaine and fentanyl. The doctor allegedly continued to prescribe the controlled substances to those patients without addressing the patient’s drug use.

Dr. Suarez-Martinez no longer holds a license to practice and will be arraigned on May 19.