Doctor Punished

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A federal judge has ordered a Houston physician to drop the titles of doctor and MD and to correct anyone addressing her as such.

The order is part of a sentence for 35-year-old Callie Hall Herpin for drug and fraud violations.

US District Judge David Hittner sentenced Herpin yesterday to 10 years in prison.

She got five years for issuing unnecessary prescriptions for pain pills and codeine-fortified cough syrup.

She got another five years for writing fake prescriptions for unneeded motorized wheelchairs. Prosecutors say the scheme defrauded Medicare and Medicaid of 13 (m) million dollars.

Herpin pleaded guilty last year as part of a deal in which she helped convict six Houston-area pharmacists for filling fake prescriptions.

Her lawyer, Chris Flood, says the judge should have given more consideration to Herpin's cooperation with prosecutors.