An Estonian doctor and an accomplice who were previously been convicted of controlled substance violations were give lengthy prison sentences on Wednesday for prescribing opiates and other drugs in return for remuneration from their customers.
Harju County Court convicted Andre Ernesaks, 42, and doctor Aleksandr Štšennikov, 61, of a number of crimes, including illegal handling of narcotic and psychotropic substances and abetting the export of medicinal products subject to special licenses. Ernesaks drew a six-year sentence. Štšennikov received three years and eight months.
Ernesaks was additionally convicted of working in healthcare without a license and Štšennikov pre-signed prescription forms and allowed Ernesaks to use his ID card. Štšennikov will be stripped of his license to practice medicine for three years, the longest revocation allowed by law.
Investigators said the two men prescribed drugs without conducting medical examinations and assigning the required diagnosis.
The men were on probation after plea bargaining for a suspended sentence in June 2010. Štšennikov's medical license had been suspended for eight months.
The pair wrote 1,553 prescriptions, of which 1,525 were for narcotic or psychotropic drugs and were filled at Tallinn pharmacies. The clients were mainly Finnish citizens.