Pain Doctors Face Sentencing

Two Mobile pain doctors, convicted for illegally prescribing powerful drugs and defrauding insurance companies and state and federal governments, will be sentenced over the next two days. Dr. Patrick Couch and Dr. Xiulu Ruan face decades behind bars.


“My brother is great doctor,” Joan Martinie told News-5. “He is not a ‘pill mill’. He is not a drug dealer.”
Martinie presented numerous charts she claims show the government greatly overstated the number of pain prescriptions her brother wrote. She adds that if Ruan wrote a lot of prescriptions it’s only because he had a huge number of patients.


“He had 5,900 patients,” she said. “If you compare that to clinic that has1,000 patients, it’s not comparable how many prescription you write.”


But Ruan had his day in court, and more. After a seven week trial that included 80 witnesses, a federal jury took just a couple of days to convict Ruan and his partner Patrick Couch.


Prosecutors say Couch and Ruan may have been dedicated doctors at one time, but like most criminals, they lost their way, and cared only about their lavish lifestyles.


“It’s been our position from the get go through now – that it was financially motivated and motivated by greed and that’s why they were prescribing in the manner that they were and billing for services in the manner that they were,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher Bodnar said after the doctors were convicted February 23.


Ruan and Couch were found to be at the middle of a massive conspiracy that included nurses, pharmacists, drug sales-reps, and drug company executives. Prosecutors claim the two doctors grossed 20 million dollars over a three-year period between 2012 and 2015 when their clinic were raided and shutdown. In 2014, the doctors wrote 67,000 prescriptions – a rate of one every four minutes.


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