A former doctor on trial in Oklahoma County District Court on eight murder charges was the state’s No. 1 prescriber of powerful prescription medications, a federal investigator testified Wednesday at the man’s preliminary hearing.
William Martin Valuck, 71, is charged with eight counts of first-degree murder and 57 counts of distribution of a controlled dangerous substance.
Prosecutors allege that the former osteopathic physician and surgeon prescribed excessive amounts of painkillers, anxiety drugs and muscle relaxers, which led to the fatal drug overdoses of eight of his patients.
Valuck’s preliminary hearing featured testimony from two witnesses Wednesday. The hearing is scheduled to resume on June 17.
The day’s first witness, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration investigator Mary Surovec, testified that vehicles full of patients would arrive at the cash-only clinic operated by Valuck.
Surovec said the agency began looking into the activities of Valuck in February 2012 while he was working at the Vista Clinic, 3700 S Western Ave.
Most of his patients received combined prescriptions for the painkiller hydrocodone, the anti-anxiety drug alprazolam, and the muscle relaxer carisoprodol, Surovec testified.
By November or December of that year, the agency received reports of one or two of Valuck’s patients dying, she testified.
“We were getting phone calls from pharmacies, concerned citizens,” Surovec testified.
One pharmacy chain began denying his prescriptions, she said.
By late spring 2013, a full-blown investigation into Valuck had been opened by the DEA and state Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs Control, she testified.
By this time, Valuck had started another clinic, Advanced Care, about three miles down the road.
“There’s nothing to support these prescriptions that have been written. They were not within the scope of legitimate practice and they did not have a legitimate medical purpose,”
Dr. Doug Beacham, testifying in regard