The agencies involved in determining how Tom Petty died are not investigating why the singer had taken a lethal combination of prescription medication, nor the doctors who prescribed them.
LAPD and the L.A. County Coroner’s office both tell The Blast that no investigation has been launched to determine why Petty was prescribed several medications which, if taken together, could have deadly consequences.
Sources tied to the case tell us that during the course of the coroner’s death investigation, a “home visit” was never conducted to gather evidence on all of Petty’s medications because he officially passed away at UCLA Medical Center after being transported from his house in Malibu.
Had Petty died at home, investigators would have gathered all relevant evidence, including prescription bottles and information about the doctors. However, this was never done and the L.A County Coroner officially closed its case, listing the death as accidental.
According to the autopsy report, Petty had a lethal combination of oxycodone, temazepam, alprazolam, citalopram, acetyl fentanyl and despropionyl fentanyl in his body.
We are told that the coroner’s investigators determined the acetyl fentanyl could have possibly been an illegal street version of the powerful opioid. It is unclear, based on the lack of evidence, if Petty ingested this designer version of the drug or if it was a metabolite of the fentanyl patch he was wearing.
However, officials are not interested in opening an investigation to determine how Petty may have obtained an illegal version of fentanyl. A spokesperson for the LAPD tells The Blast, “We have not received any information that detectives are investigating into how Mr. Petty obtained any drug.”
Illegal drugs are also not the main issue because, as addiction specialist Dr. Drew Pinsky tells us,“The doctors are the ones who should be held accountable,” adding, “It is very hard to overdose from just prescribed fentanyl patches, but it is very easy to overdose if taken together with benzodiazepines.”
A toxicology test showed Petty had Xanax — a benzodiazepine — in his system.
In a statement, the Petty family told fans, “On the day he died he was informed his hip had graduated to a full on break and it is our feeling that the pain was simply unbearable and was the cause for his over use of medication.”
Dr. Drew says, “Any doctor with proper training in this area would NEVER prescribe these two drugs together, especially to an ex-heroin addict.” Petty had openly discussed his history of drug abuse.
We are told investigators have received several calls from fans of the “Free Fallin'” singer questioning why authorities haven’t gone after the doctors who gave him the medications.
Unfortunately, Petty’s family would have to submit evidence of over-prescribing or information that his doctors had done something illegal for officials, including the Medical Board to get involved.