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Old Bridge doctor investigated for over-prescription of drugs

A New Jersey doctor is likely to have his medical license suspended after an undercover investigation by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration showed the doctor prescribed addictive medication when it wasn't necessary. A complaint filed with the Board of Medical Examiners in Trenton claims the doctor, of Old Bridge, recklessly prescribed anabolic steroids and painkillers to his patients.

The complaint cites numerous instances of the over-prescription of medications. In one case, the doctor continued to prescribe painkillers to a patient who had recently been hospitalized for jaundice. Since the patient was already suffering from liver disease, the use of the pain medication could have caused respiratory suppression and even death.

In another instance, the doctor prescribed steroids, causing a patient's testosterone level to reach nearly twice the maximum for an adult male. Those high levels prompted the patient's wife to call the Board of Medical Examiners and express her concerns.

One patient's testosterone level went up to more than six times the limit for an adult female. In that case, the doctor had prescribed an Androgel pump for the woman.

High testosterone levels can cause a number of adverse side effects, including aggressive behavior and an increased chance of stroke and liver damage. The complaint against the doctor noted these facts and described his behavior as "reckless."

Over a five-month period, federal agents worked undercover to investigate the doctor's medical practice. During one visit, an investigator was prescribed a powerful painkiller after only seeing the doctor for 2 minutes and 40 seconds. The medical exam consisted of a few quick questions and a touch on the agent's knee.

While most New Jersey doctors practice medicine responsibly, others clearly do not. Patients who have experienced adverse effects because of the over-prescription of medication should be aware of all the available options under our state's medical malpractice laws. Patients do not deserve to have their injuries and illnesses worsened by a medical professional's negligence.

Source: nj.com, "N.J. moves to suspend license of Old Bridge doctor who wildly prescribed painkillers, steroids," Mark Mueller and Amy Brittain, May 6, 2012

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