Dorchester Nurse May Have Written More than 100 Illegal Prescriptions

Roberta Regan was arraigned in Suffolk Superior Court Wednesday.

As the Commonwealth continues to battle opioid abuse, a Dorchester nurse practitioner is under fire for her prescription writing habits.

Roberta Regan, formerly employed by Framingham’s MetroWest Medical Center, apparently wrote numerous illicit prescriptions for family and friends. According to the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program, Regan wrote 119 prescriptions over a one-year timespan—but only 12 went to actual patients. Many times, the Attorney General’s office says, she would reclaim a portion of the pills in exchange for writing the prescription.

Regan, 51, was arraigned Wednesday in Suffolk Superior Court on six counts of illegally prescribing Oxycodone, an opioid painkiller. She pleaded not guilty, and was released on her own personal recognizance—a promise to appear for future court dates—on the conditions that she abstain from drugs and alcohol and submit to random drug testing.

In June, she was indicted by a statewide grand jury on 10 counts of unlawfully prescribing Oxycodone, one count of unlawfully prescribing Lorazepam (a drug used to treat anxiety), and one count of unlawfully prescribing Clonazepam (a drug used to treat seizures and panic disorder) in Suffolk, Norfolk, and Plymouth Counties. She’ll be arraigned in Norfolk Superior Court on July 28, and in Plymouth Superior Court on August 4.

“This defendant violated her responsibility and abused her position by allegedly prescribing powerful painkillers to her family and friends,” Attorney General Maura Healey said in a statement. “At a time when we’re working to combat the opioid epidemic, actions like these threaten that progress and help fuel addiction.”

“Opiate abuse is a major problem in the Commonwealth and throughout New England,” added Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent in Charge Michael Ferguson. “The diversion of prescription pain killers, in this case Oxycodone, contributes to the widespread abuse of opiates, is a gateway to heroin addiction, and is devastating our communities.”