No charges for Limbaugh over Viagra - East Valley Tribune: Get Out

No charges for Limbaugh over Viagra

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Posted: Wednesday, July 5, 2006 2:02 pm | Updated: 5:02 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Rush Limbaugh will not face charges in Palm Beach County for the bottle of Viagra found in his luggage that was prescribed in his psychologist's name, prosecutors said Wednesday.

Charges could have nullified the conservative radio host's plea agreement in a "doctor shopping" case.

Limbaugh, 55, was detained for more than three hours at Palm Beach International Airport on June 26 after he returned on his private plane from a vacation in the Dominican Republic.

The state attorney's office said the medication was prescribed by Limbaugh's cardiologist, Dr. Steven Schnur, to Limbaugh's psychologist and addiction counselor, Steve Strumwasser. Strumwasser then provided the Viagra to Limbaugh, said state attorney spokesman Mike Edmondson.

Strumwasser told authorities he "agreed to have his name on the label in an effort to avoid potentially embarrassing publicity for the suspect," according to the state attorney's office filing. "Thus, the medication contained in the subject pill bottle was legitimately prescribed to the suspect by his physician."

It is generally not illegal under Florida law for a physician to prescribe medication in a third party's name if all parties are aware and the doctor documents it correctly, Edmondson said.

However, since the doctor wrote the prescription in Miami-Dade County, the case was forwarded to prosecutors there for review. The Miami-Dade state attorney's office had no immediate comment.

"There are statutes that would criminalize a fraudulent filing of a prescription," Edmondson said.

The Palm Beach County state attorney's office also said it forwarded the matter to the state Department of Professional Regulation and the Department of Health to determine whether the doctor breached ethics.

Calls seeking comment from Strumwasser and Schnur were not immediately returned Wednesday.

"Based on the sworn facts presented by the investigating officer as well as the suspect, the elements of the offense cannot be proven beyond a reasonable doubt," Paul Zacks, Palm Beach County assistant state attorney, wrote in the filing.

Limbaugh said on his radio show Wednesday that prosecutors declined to file charges because "there were no laws broken."

Black's office referred questions Wednesday to Limbaugh spokesman Tony Knight. Knight declined to comment.

Charges in the Viagra case could have nullified a deal Limbaugh reached with prosecutors last month in which a single "doctor shopping" charge was deferred for 18 months, so long as Limbaugh does not get arrested for any reason.

Authorities had accused Limbaugh of illegally deceiving multiple doctors to get overlapping painkiller prescriptions. Limbaugh denied the charges but acknowledged he was addicted to painkillers.

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