Minnesota’s medical board could charge a California addiction and pain specialist with practicing medicine without a state license for sending his son to treat the late pop star Prince for opioid addiction.
It was the son, Andrew Kornfeld, who found the “Purple Rain” star dead April 21 and called emergency medical services. Dr. Howard Kornfeld and his son could be charged with bringing buprenorphine, a Schedule III controlled substance used as a painkiller and treatment for period addiction, into the state. The doctor could also be charged with practicing so-called telemedicine (when doctors consult with patients online) without a state license.
The Minnesota Star Tribune reported Friday that the Minnesota Board of Medical Practice has not confirmed yet what, if anything, it would do, or whether it’s investigating. But lawyers and physicians have said the Kornfelds' actions to bring buprenorphine to Minnesota on an April 20 flight was foolhardy at best, considering that dozens of Minnesota physicians are licensed to prescribe the drug. It’s also illegal to prescribe a controlled substance without a face-to-face doctor-patient meeting.
The Kornfelds could be shielded from prosecution if the state’s medical board decides on a broad interpretation of federal and state laws that exempt some situations where doctors are administering emergency medical care. But that defense could be stymied by the fact it was the doctor’s son who carried the drug into the state.
The Associated Press reported Friday that Andrew’s attorney described his client’s actions as a “lifesaving mission” to rescue Prince, who was scheduled to meet Dr. Kornfeld a day after he was found dead at this Paisley Park estate in Chanhassen, outside Minneapolis.
Meanwhile, a court authorized a DNA test on a sample of Prince’s blood in anticipation of a potential wave of paternity claims against the late artist’s multimillion-dollar estate. Tyka Nelson, Prince’s sister, appeared in court with four of her half-siblings to begin sorting out the singer’s estate. Prince left no known will, leaving Nelson as the closest living heir to Prince’s estimated $300 million fortune.