Prosecutors from Los Angeles County are set to prove that a California doctor is guilty of murder, and that she caused the deaths of three otherwise healthy men in their 20s by overprescribing painkillers.
42-year-old Dr. Hsiu-Ying “Lisa” Tseng, who has been given the nickname “Dr. Feelgood,” allegedly wrote prescriptions for such drugs as Xanax, Oxycontin, Vicodin, and Adderall at a rate of 25 per day for three years, with only brief examinations and a few questions.
Tseng was charged of being responsible for the deaths of 29-year-old Vu Nguyen of Lake Forest, who died on March 2, 2009; 25-year-old Steven Ogle of Palm Desert, who died on April 9, 2009; and 21-year-old Joseph Rovero III, a student of Arizona State University (ASU), who died on December 18, 2009.
Rovero was halfway through his senior year as a business and communications student at ASU, when he saw Dr. Tseng for the first and only time on December 9, 2009. He received prescriptions for Xanax and OxyContin on that day. Nine days later, he died of acute intoxication of the two drugs in Tempe, Arizona. Alcohol was also found in his system.
An affidavit from the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) revealed that Tseng wrote more than 27,000 prescriptions for a period of three years, starting in January 2007. Her license to write prescriptions was suspended by the DEA in 2010, and the Osteopathic Medical Board of California shared that she surrendered her medical license voluntarily.
In an interview with the Los Angeles Times in 2010, Tseng said that she was “really strict” with her patients, and that she followed legal guidelines. She was quoted as saying: “If my patient decides to take a month’s supply in a day, then there’s nothing I can do about that.”