The U.S. Department of Justice for Eastern Washington and DEA announced Tuesday a $70K plus fine has been agreed upon to settle with a Richland Naturopath Doctor to settle illegal prescribing of narcotics.

DEA says practitioners must register with DEA to legally prescribe certain drugs

Dr. Judith K. Caporiccio, N.D. operates from a practice in Richland, Integrative Family Medicine located  1601 Columbia Park Trail Suite 103.

A Naturopath is a physician who usually attends what's called a naturopathic medical college or school, they study the same coursework as "traditional" doctors and take a state board exam to become licensed, but are not considered the same as a 'medical' doctor. They tend to lean towards more natural, non-medicine-oriented methods of treating patients.

DEA says naturopath admitted to 421 illegal-improper prescriptions

U.S. Justice and DEA officials say Caporiccio admitted to improperly prescribing certain narcotics between July 2016, and July 2021. The DEA says practitioners must register with them in order to prescribe certain narcotic medications used for anti-anxiety, sleep help (including sleep apnea), and sedatives.

According to the DEA and US Justice:

"..These controlled substances included the sleep aid zolpidem (often sold under the brand name Ambien); the anti-anxiety drug alprazolam (sometimes sold under the brand name Xanax); the benzodiazepine lorazepam; the stimulant modafinil (typically prescribed for narcolepsy and sleep apnea); and the sedative pregabalin (sold by Pfizer under the brand name Lyrica). 

The DEA says Caporiccio failed to properly register and admitted to at least 421 such prescriptions during this five-year period.

Federal officials also said:

"...The settlement agreement also indicates that Dr. Caporiccio ceased her improper prescribing practices in 2021 after being contacted by the DEA, and that she voluntarily surrendered her DEA registration. Additionally, the settlement agreement requires Dr. Caporiccio to implement additional controls and procedures to ensure that this conduct does not recur."

A check of their Facebook page and other data indicates the practice is still open. A handful of Google and Yelp reviews indicate the practice is highly rated by most of the patients who published a review.


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