Healthcare News & Insights

Doc illegally prescribed steroids for local cops, taxpayers paid the bill

A doctor and several police officers appear to have engaged in a double breach of public trust.

The Newark, New Jersey-based Star-Ledger recently released an investigative report alleging that one doctor issued hundreds of dubious prescriptions for anabolic steroids, human growth hormones, testosterone and other medications to help police officers, firefighters and corrections officers bulk up.

Dr. Joseph Colao, who died in 2007, is alleged to have become the supplier of choice in police circles due mainly to word of mouth. The investigation claims he wrote bogus diagnoses of low testosterone to justify the prescriptions, and sent them to a pharmacy in Brooklyn, New York, that apparently knew not to ask too many questions. Officers used their state-provided health insurance to pay for the drugs.

The cost to taxpayers was enormous. According to the report, the cost of the prescriptions was at least $260,000 in Jersey City alone. And Colao worked with officers in agencies throughout the state.

The New Jersey attorney general is investigating the reports.

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