'Dirty doctor' to stand trial in connection with death of San Ramon student

A Southern California doctor was ordered to stand trial for second-degree murder Thursday after several of her patients, including a Cal High grad, died from prescription drug overdoses.

According to reports, Dr. Hsui-Ying "Lisa" Tseng gave prescriptions for highly addictive drugs such as OxyCotin and Xanax after hasty examinations and minimum questions. The decision by Los Angeles Superior Court Judge M.L. Villar de Longoria came down after a three-week preliminary hearing where she was portrayed as the go-to doctor for people seeking drugs, the Washington Post reported.

Tseng has supposedly been under investigation by the state Medical Board and DEA since 2008, when a pharmacy reported problems with her prescriptions; the doctor is thought to have written 25 prescriptions a day for three years. There was testimony of nearly a dozen patients who died of overdoses, though only three were charged by prosecutors as solely cased by Tseng's prescriptions.

Joey Rovero, a 21-year-old Arizona State University student who died from a prescription drug overdose on Dec. 18, 2009, was prescribed 90 30-mg. strength Oxycodone, 90 Soma and 30 Xanax by Tseng. The Cal High alum was supposed to take one Xanax, three Soma and three Oxycodone every day, his mother, April, told the Express.

"She continued to prescribe these narcotics in high doses even after she was told something was terribly wrong and young men were overdosing and dying," Villar de Longoria said.

According to the Post, Villar de Longoria cited testimony about one man who received an opiate prescription, went to the restroom in Tseng's office and overdosed, requiring medical attention. More than 40 witnesses testified in all, including law enforcement, Tseng's staff and family of patients.

Rowland Heights-based Tseng is accused of writing more than 27,000 prescriptions over a three-year period and pleaded not guilty to 24 felony counts. If convicted, she could serve 45 years to life in connection with the deaths of Rovero, 29-year-old Vu Nguyen and 25-year-old Steven Ogle.

The judge denied a defense request to have Tseng's bail lowered from $3 million to $1 million. She has been in custody since her arrest in March.

"Doctors in general need to be better trained in how to safely and responsibly prescribe addictive and dangerous narcotics, especially those used to manage pain and anxiety, as they are among the ones most abused," said Rovero, who founded the National Coalition Against Prescription Drug Abuse after her son's death.

The DEA suspended Tseng's license to write prescriptions in 2010 and the Osteopathic Medical Board of California said Tseng voluntarily surrendered her medical license. She will reappear in court on July 10.


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Posted by Bill
a resident of Danville
on Jun 29, 2012 at 7:03 am

This is all too typical and the insulation that these MD's have is unbelievable. Under investigation since 2008? How long does it take this medical board and board of pharmacy or the DEA to get their act together. All drugs of this schedule are tracked and yet they know about this and do nothing. Here is a way to save some tax payers $$'s. Fire the bureaucrats and get some people in there that will do something!

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Posted by Burning Flag Day - July 4th
a resident of Danville
on Jun 29, 2012 at 9:23 am

I disagree with the author that the Supreme Court has made a mistake. If one wants to identify the problem, then simply look in the mirror. There is very little chance that once you give an ignorant person something for free that you can ever begin to charge for it in the future or that they will ever appreciate what they have. Extreme entitlement is rampant in our country and has grown due to “I’m accustomed to…” and “my right…” belief!

You elected these Democrats who pushed this legislation on your behalf. You should be happy that we’re finally a socialist country with no rights, no freedoms, and a King who can put you in prison (without due process) if he suspects you as a terrorist. Please come join me in flag burning day this July 4th. Remember, folks, it is illegal to show your patriotism by shooting off fireworks in Contra Costa County in California, but perfectly legal to burn the American flag. I will be celebrating my patriotism this year after several decades of military service by burning the flag to celebrate the end of America. Thank you for belittling the lives of the American people who sacrificed for this country. You win! God bless communism…

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Posted by Cathy K
a resident of Danville
on Jun 29, 2012 at 1:26 pm

Wow "Burning Flag Day". Are you also going to move to another country now? I sure hope so.

Like this comment
Posted by Citizen Paine
a resident of Danville
on Jun 29, 2012 at 1:54 pm

I hate to feed you, Burner, but I hear there's this bridge Web Link, in France? Check it out -- looks like there's a LOT of room under it.

Like this comment
Posted by Derek
a resident of Danville
on Jun 29, 2012 at 2:43 pm

B.F.D. (hey, he chose the initials, not me!) seems to have a short memory. I recall it was not too long ago that we had another tyrant in charge, King Dick, and his puppet inCurious George.

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