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Clearwater doctor arrested on charges of trafficking oxycodone and codeine

More than 30 states reporting increases in opioid overdoses amid pandemic
Posted at 12:13 PM, Jul 28, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-28 23:24:39-04

CLEARWATER, Fla. — The Pinellas County Sheriff's Office said deputies arrested a Clearwater infectious disease doctor accused of trafficking in codeine and oxycodone.

Detectives said they were tipped off by multiple sources that Dr. Neelam Uppal, 62, was writing illegitimate prescriptions. Specifically, the sheriff's office said Dr. Uppal sold 550 prescriptions for promethazine codeine syrup and hundreds of oxycodone prescriptions.

Pinellas deputies said undercover detectives were able to obtain prescriptions for both the syrup and oxycodone without ever seeing, examining, or speaking to Uppal. Detectives said they paid $650 for each syrup prescription and $450 for each oxycodone prescription.

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The sheriff's office said deputies served a search warrant on Uppal's home and office and found multiple prescription pads, minimal patient records, multiple handwritten ledgers, prescriptions filled out with multiple patients' names, $1.9 million in cash, and gold bars and jewelry worth $175,000.

Uppal was arrested Tuesday and faces three counts of trafficking in codeine and three counts of trafficking in oxycodone. She also was served with a civil injunction by the DEA revoking her ability to prescribe medication.