MINNEAPOLIS - A Minnesota doctor accused of illegally prescribing an opioid for Prince a week before the musician died has agreed to pay $30,000 to settle a federal civil claim.
Beyond the fine, Dr. Michael Todd Schulenberg is also required to be monitored under a two-year agreement with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration where his prescriptions will be inspected, according to documents detailing the settlement.
Prince died on April 21, 2016, from an accidental overdose of fentanyl, a synthetic opioid. No one has been criminally charged.
But the federal government alleges that Schulenberg violated the Controlled Substances Act when he wrote a prescription in someone else's name, while knowing it would be used by another individual, on April 14, 2016.
The settlement released Thursday doesn't name Prince, but search warrants previously released say Schulenberg wrote a prescription for oxycodone in the name of Prince's bodyguard Kirk Johnson, intending it to go to Prince.
"Doctors are trusted medical professionals and, in the midst of our opioid crisis, they must be part of the solution," said U.S. Attorney Greg Brooker in a released statement. "As licensed professionals, doctors are held to a high level of accountability in their prescribing practices, especially when it comes to highly addictive painkillers. The U.S. Attorney’s Office and the DEA will not hesitate to take action against healthcare providers who fail to comply with the Controlled Substances Act. We are committed to using every available tool to stem the tide of opioid abuse."
Search warrants state that Schulenberg, a Minnesota physician, saw Prince twice in the month before his death, including the day before he died. Investigators questioned Schulenberg and searched a hospital where he worked during the investigation but a letter from the U.S. Attorney sent to his lawyer, Amy Conners, dated April 16, 2018 cleared Schulenberg from any criminal charges.
Conners told the AP in a statement that Schulenberg continues to stand by his previous statement that he did not prescribe opiates to any patient with the intention that they be given to Prince.
She insists that after Schulenberg learned of Prince's addiction, he immediately began working to get him into treatment.