Doctor accused in death of Prince to pay $30,000 fine

Prince at a concert in Paris 26 years ago

A doctor accused of illegally prescribing an opioid painkiller to pop singer Prince before he died has reached 30,000 dollar settlement with the U.S. government, the country’s Justice Department said on Thursday.

Michael Schulenberg allegedly prescribed drugs to the singer’s bodyguard knowing they were intended for Prince, in violation of the Controlled Substances Act, according to an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

Prince, 57, was found dead from an accidental overdose of fentanyl in an elevator at his Paisley Park compound near Minneapolis, Minnesota, in April 2016.

Fentanyl is available in the U.S. only by prescription but is often abused by addicts and sold illegally.

The music icon had been treated the day before for opioid withdrawal symptoms and had been scheduled to meet with a doctor specialising in opioid addiction the next day.

“Doctors are trusted medical professionals and, in the midst of our opioid crisis, they must be part of the solution,’’ said Greg Brooker, Minnesota’s U.S. attorney.

“As licensed professionals, doctors are held to a high level of accountability in their prescribing practices, especially when it comes to highly addictive painkillers,” he said.

Schulenberg has agreed to pay the sum within 30 days.