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Drug Enforcement Administration revokes McHenry doctor's license to handle controlled substances

Doctor prescribed more than 350,000 dosage units of controlled substances over 2 years

McHENRY – A McHenry doctor has had his license for prescribing controlled substances in Illinois revoked after an investigation that found he overprescribed pain pills.

The Drug Enforcement Administration flagged McHenry internist Raman I. Popli for overprescribing pain medications such as oxycodone, Klonopin, Xanax and hydrocodone at his private practice. His DEA license temporarily was revoked in March, and the decision was upheld in August after Popli did not request a hearing on the matter, according to documents from the Department of Justice.

Popli’s licenses for practicing general medicine temporarily were suspended and expired at the end of July, according to records from the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation. It was not clear whether Popli was trying to renew his licenses.

A spokesperson for the state’s department of financial and professional regulation wouldn’t comment on how long Popli’s suspension will remain in place.

Popli had been affiliated with Centegra Health System before the suspension in March.

“When we learned about his suspension, he was automatically suspended from providing care at Centegra Health System,” Centegra spokeswoman Michelle Green said Friday. “If he regains his license, he would need to proactively pursue credentialing again.”

A nearly yearlong investigation by the DEA’s Chicago Field Office found that Popli prescribed more than 350,000 dosage units of controlled substances between June 2014 and May 2016. This included 167,000 dosage units of hydrocodone, 86,000 dosage units of Xanax, 50,000 dosage units of oxycodone and more than 28,000 dosage units of Klonopin, according to court documents.

Two undercover officers in July 2016 and August 2016 posed as patients and received a prescription for Norco despite showing red flags. One officer said he had been getting his Norcos from “some guy” and “off the internet.” Popli gave him a prescription for the drug shortly after, according to court documents.

Weeks later, both officers contacted Popli’s office separately, and they each were told they had been taken out of the system and the doctor would not treat them any further.

Both officers also were sent a letter from Popli’s office that read, “Your name has been flagged by the DEA (along with a few others), and I have been informed by the DEA that you need to be referred to a pain specialist and that I should not be prescribing chronic pain medications to you.”

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