The medical license of a New Jersey doctor was suspended for five years on Sept. 6 after the State Board of Medical Examiners determined that he had prescribed drugs improperly. The physician, who has practiced medicine in Hudson County for over 25 years, will be suspended for 364 days and spend a further four years on probation. The suspension came a year after the doctor was accused of violating board regulations, negligence and professional misconduct in a complaint filed by the Office of the Attorney General.
The complaint, which described the doctor as an imminent public danger, cited six examples of drugs being prescribed improperly. Five of the cases mentioned in the complaint deal with the powerful painkiller oxycodone. The doctor allegedly prescribed some of his patients up to 360 of the narcotic pills each month without consulting specialists familiar with their cases or thoroughly investigating their medical histories.
The doctor was also criticized for prescribing drugs including the aromatase inhibitor Arimidex to a 33-year-old man as part of a hormone therapy plan. Experts say that there are no legitimate medical reasons to prescribe Arimidex, which suppresses the production of estrogen, to a man. The drug is sometimes used in combination with growth hormones and testosterone by bodybuilders and other performance athletes to increase lean muscle mass.
When patients suffer injury, loss or damage due to misdiagnosis, improper prescriptions or other doctor errors, personal injury attorneys may initiate medical malpractice litigation on their behalf. Physicians, hospitals and insurance companies have deep pockets and tend defend their reputations zealously. Therefore, it can sometimes be difficult to find doctors who are willing to come forward and point out the mistakes of their peers. When faced with these situations, attorneys may call upon retired physicians who no longer have an incentive to remain silent or health care experts who have provided evidence in other malpractice cases.