Several physicians are under investigation by state and local prosecutors to determine whether they over-prescribed potentially addictive drugs to actress Elizabeth Taylor, a Los Angeles County district attorney’s spokesman said Tuesday.
Although the 57-year-old actress was not available for comment, she acknowledged a year and a half ago that she underwent treatment for addiction to painkiller pills and alcohol.
District attorney’s spokesman Al Albergate would say only that the investigation involves allegations that excessive amounts of various opiates, barbiturates and stimulants were prescribed for Taylor. Neither the drugs nor the doctors were identified.
The inquiry, Albergate said, is being conducted by the state attorney general’s office with the assistance of the district attorney.
“We’re not talking about a prescription mill that prescribes for people off the street,” said Albergate. “We’re talking about one patient--who happens to have celebrity status.”
When the attorney general’s office investigation ends, Albergate said, “they will turn it over to us to make a decision on whether to file a criminal complaint.”
The district attorney’s office, he said, could simply refer the matter to the state Board of Medical Quality Assurance for disciplinary action.
The investigation reportedly began after state officials noticed that excessive amounts of potentially addictive drugs had been prescribed for Taylor.
State Department of Justice spokeswoman Kati Corsaut said prescriptions for Schedule 2 drugs--those with a high potential for addiction--must be written in triplicate on forms provided by the attorney general’s office.
Taylor went public about her addiction in August, 1987, when she told Cosmopolitan magazine there was “no question” she would have died without treatment at the Betty Ford Clinic in Rancho Mirage.