He prescribed powerful painkillers to addicts who had no medical need for them, conducted sham examinations and appeared to be a key supplier for drug dealers, according to court records.
He wrote more prescriptions than the entire staffs of some hospitals and took in more than $1 million a year.
Worse, one of Estiandan's patients had fatally overdosed on drugs he prescribed, a board investigator learned. The investigator said in her report that she confronted the doctor and told him the death was "the inevitable result" of giving narcotics to an addict.
Unknown to the investigator, two other Estiandan patients had suffered fatal overdoses. More deaths would follow.
By the time the medical board stopped Estiandan from prescribing, more than four years after it began investigating, eight of his patients had died of overdoses or related causes, according to coroners' records.
It was not an isolated case of futility by California's medical regulators. The board has repeatedly failed to protect patients from reckless prescribing by doctors, a Los Angeles Times investigation found.
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