Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter charged Dr. Regan Nichols with five counts of second-degree murder in relation to the death of at least five patients during her time working at a Midwest City clinic.
According to the probable cause affidavit, Nichols, an osteopathic physician, knowingly prescribed controlled dangerous substances to patients without a legitimate medical need, in quantities and circumstances that are considered an extreme disregard of human life.
Attorney General Hunter thanked the work of the Drug Enforcement Administration, Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics, the Oklahoma County District Attorney’s Office and the investigating agents and attorneys who worked the case. He said attorneys in his office will do whatever it takes to ensure justice is served to the victims.
“I appreciate the effort from everyone who worked as a team and put this case together,” Attorney General Hunter said. “The dangers associated with opioid drugs have been well documented and most doctors follow strict guidelines when prescribing opioids to their patients. Nichols prescribed patients, who entrusted their well-being to her, a horrifyingly excessive amount of opioid medications. Nichols’ blatant disregard for the lives of her patients is unconscionable.”
The Oklahoma Medical Examiner’s reports stated all five deaths were the result of multi-drug toxicity.
Through the investigation, agents found the five individuals who died were prescribed more than 1,800 opioid pills in the same months as their deaths. Three of the five individuals were prescribed a deadly three drug combination of a narcotic opioid pain reliever, an anti-anxiety drug and a muscle relaxer. All of the prescriptions were signed by Nichols.
In addition, data gathered by agents through the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs Control Prescription Monitoring Program indicates that from Jan. 1, 2010 to Oct. 7, 2014, Nichols prescribed in excess of 3 million dosage units of controlled dangerous substances.
After a September 2015 hearing before the Oklahoma State Board of Osteopathic Examiners, the board stripped Nichols of her prescribing authority of controlled dangerous substances. She voluntarily surrendered her credentials with the Drug Enforcement Administration and Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics.
An Oklahoma County judge has issued a warrant for her arrest. Nichols will be held in lieu of $50,000 bond.