Henrico doc who illegally prescribed powerful pills to patients faces prison

RICHMOND, Va. – A Henrico-based doctor faces up to 20 years in prison after he admitted to prescribing powerful and highly-addictive painkillers Oxycodone and Tramadol to patients who did not need the drugs. Zeljko Stjepanovic, 58, worked at a pain management practice in Henrico, Chesterfield, and Fredericksburg.

“As part of his plea, Stjepanovic admitted that he wrote prescriptions for numerous patients without assessing the individual needs of those patients, and that his prescribing practices were outside the usual course of his professional practice and were without any legitimate medical purpose,” a spokesperson for the United States Attorney said. “In addition, on at least two occasions, Stjepanovic prescribed Tramadol for Patient 1, but put the prescription in the name of Patient 2. Before the first instance, Stjepanovic notified both Patient 1 and Patient 2 that he knew what he was doing was illegal, but he proposed doing it nonetheless.”

Stjepanovic pleaded guilty to the unlawful distribution and dispensing of controlled substances, specifically, Oxycodone, a Schedule II controlled substance, and Tramadol, a Schedule IV controlled substance.

Stjepanovic graduated from medical school in Serbia in 1984, and completed a general surgery internship at MCV in 2009.

He will be sentenced in February.

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