'I was a medical prostitute' - FOX 13 News

'I was a medical prostitute'

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TAMPA (FOX 13) -

For the past several years, FOX 13 has been out in front of the pill mill epidemic in Florida. Our investigative reports have opened some eyes and helped shut down some clinics.

But for the first time, we've been able to talk with somebody on the inside writing scripts for pain pills.

"I was a monster," says Dr. Sanjeev Grover. "I was arrogant, angry, rude to people, which I was never that."

Doctor Grover admits he was a drug doctor and is ashamed and embarrassed by his actions.

"These medications are not good for your body; this is death in your face looking at you," he said.

Doctor Grover says highly addictive drugs like oxycotin and oxycodone eventually destroy a person's kidneys, liver, heart and bone marrow. He wrote hundreds of prescriptions sometimes for hundreds of tablets at a time.

"It's called robodoc. I was in a system where I was a robotic, so-called doctor. I wasn't healing them, I was killing them."

Dr. Grover was arrested after he sold scripts for Oxycondone to an undercover operative working for the DEA right out of the parking lot at one pain clinic where he was working as a doctor. He also worked out of a Burger King Parking lot in Lutz.

(pdf plea agreement link

So why did he do it?

"It was fast money," confesses Grover who says he's never used pain medication himself because it's so highly addictive and destructive.

He could never have imagined stooping so low. Sanjeev Grover attended some of the finest schools, including resident training in pediatrics at the Albert Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia and post graduate work at Duke University for pediatric hematology & oncology.

After years of working with kids stricken with cancer, he came to Florida to slow down and bought a pediatric clinic in Lutz in 2004. The office failed, hard times followed and Dr. Grover needed work and a quick income. So he started working at various pain management clinics in the Bay Area, including one owned by Lance Whitney, who we investigated last year.

Whitney - an aspiring rap star - liked to exalt the use of illegal drugs in some of his videos.

"It was different," says Grover. "You know, I was never used to giving an individual 180 tablets a month of Oxycodone."

Doctor Grover says he wrote hundreds of prescriptions, sometimes for hundreds of tablets at a time. Lance Whitney's clinic was shut down by the Florida Department of Health last year.

Whitney has repeatedly declined our request for an interview, but his lawyer, Dale Sisco told us that Lance Whitney cooperated with authorities, and says Dr. Grover's credibility is suspect.

Sisco also says Lance Whitney knew nothing about Dr. Grover's moonlighting: selling scripts out in the parking lot at Whitney Enterprises and a Burger King parking lot.

Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri has called him a drug pusher in a white coat. He doesn't argue with the label.

"That's true," says Dr. Grover. "I was a medical prostitute. I was pushing drugs on the streets."

Sanjeev Grover has lost his license to practice medicine and he could lose his freedom. He will be sentenced May 14th in Tampa's federal court.

He's facing up to 30 years in prison, but says he feels a sense of relief.

"I was praying everyday, God get me out of this. I want my life back, but it happened a different way," he said.

Dr. Grover now wants to be part of the solution instead of the problem. He believes his mission is now to help end the epidemic that he helped fuel.

In addition to our story, he'd like to make public service announcements to educate the public and has sketched out some ideas. He thinks public pressure to change behavior is the key because law enforcement can only do so much.

"I think Florida has an opportunity right now in the next two years to turn this thing around," says Grover. "I plan to do everything I can to help."
 

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