Midwest City doctor charged with five counts of second degree murder

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MIDWEST CITY, Okla. - A Midwest City doctor is facing five counts of second degree murder after investigators say she over-prescribed large amounts of narcotics.

Dr. Regan Nichols was arrested Friday afternoon at her home.

According to the affidavit, between January 2010 and October 2014, ten of her patients died from overdosing on deadly combinations of narcotics. The attorney general has not filed charges on the other five victims' deaths at this time.

The five charges are related to the deaths of five women, ranging from 21-years-old to 55-years-old, each prescribed hundreds of pills.  Some of them died within days of visiting her Midwest City clinic, Sunshine Medical Clinic.

"One of the individuals who was prescribed 510 pills died the same day the prescription was filled," said Attorney General Mike Hunter.

In one instance, the victim had been over-prescribed so long, the investigator was surprised she didn't die sooner.

Investigators found three of the victims were prescribed a combination of drugs doctors called the addicts' "holy trinity."

"A deadly three-drug combination of narcotic opioid pain reliever, an anti-anxiety drug, and a muscle relaxer," Hunter said.

Over that five year period, investigators found Dr. Nichols prescribed more than three million doses of narcotics to patients.

In a 2015 hearing in front of the Oklahoma State Board of Osteopathic Examiners, Dr. Nichols said she believed her patients developed a tolerance to the narcotics. She also said her patients didn't want to wait for a pain management specialist, she said, "I think they wanted ongoing narcotics."

After that hearing, she was placed on five years probation by the board, during which time she cannot prescribe controlled dangerous substances. However, she is still allowed to practice medicine.

Investigators say it's clear she either didn't know she was doing harm, or didn't care, and her patients paid the ultimate sacrifice.

Even though she has not been charged in the other five deaths, the attorney general says she may be in the future.

"She has violated, in my view, the Hypocratic Oath, as well as Oklahoma law," Hunter said, "and we're going to seek to hold her accountable."

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