Doctor accused of selling painkillers

DOWNEY - A physician who practied out of medical offices in Downey and Los Angeles was arrested Wednesday for allegedly prescribing painkillers to patients he had not examined and who had no medical need for them.Dr. Nazar Al Bussam, 71, and two of his employees were charged with conspiracy to illegally dispense prescription narcotics. Bussam allegedly earned more than $1 million a year by selling prescriptions for $100 each, officials with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration said. Since 2007, Bussam is accused of prescribing more than 60,000 painkillers such as OxyContin, Vicodin and Promethazine with codeine, according to a criminal complaint. Authorities said that some of the people Bussam sold painkillers to resold the pills in California and Texas. Federal authorities first became aware of Bussan in 2007 when he was listed as among the top 10 prescribers of painkillers in the Los Angeles area. In addition to Bussam, also arrested Wednesday were Rosemary Mendoza, 75, and James Park, 72. All three face up to 20 years in prison.

********** Published: October 21, 2010 - Volume 9 - Issue 27