State health official accused of over-prescribing opioids

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — A high-ranking state health official has been placed on paid leave after being accused of excessively prescribing opioids.

Dr. David Neff is paid $194,000 a year as the top doctor in Michigan’s Medicaid program, the health insurance plan for low-income residents. State regulators on May 1 accused him of prescribing too many drugs to some patients in his private Lansing-area medical practice.

Neff also is accused of failing to test patients for other drug use and failing to check a state database to see if patients had other prescriptions. His lawyer, Tim Dardas, said he would file a response Friday.

In 2018, a Michigan group of osteopathic doctors honored Neff for his work in combating opioid abuse.