SAN JOSE – On May 26, 2017, the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s office announced that former doctor, Jasna Mrdjen, 74, of Mountain View, was sentenced to four years in prison for involuntary manslaughter of a patient who had just returned from drug rehabilitation treatment.
Mrdjen pleaded no contest on September 26, 2016, to nine counts of prescribing a controlled substance to persons without a legitimate medical purpose, two counts of dispensing a controlled substance to an addict, one count conspiracy, and one count of involuntary manslaughter for the death of Steven English, 29. In January 2012, two weeks after Mrdjen prescribed hundreds of powerful pills to English, he died from a dangerous combination of drugs at his parent’s home in Truckee.
A multi-agency investigation, which included the Santa Clara County Specialized Enforcement Team, California Medical Board investigators & DOJ special agents, began in 2011 after a patient was arrested for selling drugs prescribed by Mrdjen. The investigation showed Mrdjen was writing excessive, high dosage prescriptions for Oxycodone and Percocet, both addictive narcotics. Prescriptions were given with minimal evaluation, and in some cases, without prior medical records. In one case, Mrdjen prescribed high doses of prescription drugs to an undercover officer, posing as a patient with foot pain, without so much as asking her to remove her shoe. As part of the investigation, some of Mrdjen’s patients were arrested for reselling drugs, that Mrdjen had prescribed, for a profit.
On January 3, 2012, Mrdjen prescribed English Oxycodone, Flexeril, and Clonazepam. English had refills remaining for Hydrocodone and Diazepam, also prescribed by Mrdjen. Two weeks later, English was found dead. It was determined the cause of death was multiple drug ingestion.
After English’s death, Mrdjen altered his patient file and forged his signature.
“The abuse of highly addictive prescription drugs is a huge problem in California and this country,” said California Statewide Law Enforcement Association (CSLEA) President Alan Barcelona. “Medical professionals should not be adding to this abuse, by prescribing these meds when there is no legitimate need. State investigators work with law enforcement officers on the local and federal level to help put a stop to this.”