A family physician and pain management doctor in Newport News, VA has had his license suspended by the Virginia Board of Medicine for complaints about alleged prescription abuses, reports the Daily Press.
Doctor Roger M. Phillips placed a note on the door of his practice, Prime Care Family Medicine in Oyster Point, on Feb. 20 that reads, “closed indefinitely due to events beyond our control.”
The Virginia Board of Medicine presented the practice’s dangers in a 43-page document, noting that it is “a substantial danger to the public health or safety,” that warrants the suspension. Among the complaints were several involving alleged prescription drug abuses. There is a formal administrative hearing set for April 4 in Richmond.
Executive Director William Harp, M.D., released a statement via email noting that the board “has the statutory authority to summarily suspend the license of a physician if it finds that there is a substantial danger to the public health or safety which warrants an immediate cessation of practice. Following such action, a formal hearing is scheduled within a reasonable time of the date of the summary suspension, thereby providing the licensee with timely due process. Any sanction issued will be proportionate to the violation(s).”
The allegations of drug abuse in the 43-page document includes one patient of seven years, three of those years after she moved to Florida, to which Phillips diagnosed conditions such as fibromyalgia/generalized chronic neuralgia without credible objective evidence to support the diagnosis. He then inappropriately prescribed medications like hydrocodone and oxycodone while failing to coordinate her care with another doctor or to look at her medical records.
The board also cites an instance of behavior that could be interpreted as romantic involvement between Phillips and a chronic pain patient who he allegedly gave an interest free loan to and then hired as a contract bookkeeper to pay off the loan. Another allegation involved a patient with a perceived narcotics problem who was prescribed oxycodone at 60 mg/day, which then increased to 330 mg/day three years later without any evidence that there had been an increase in chronic pain or painful conditions.
Phillips is also noted to have had a number of pharmacists complain about his rudeness when they called to verify prescriptions, and one pharmacist who refused to fill out one of his prescriptions. The document also cites numerous examples of Phillips prescribing medications when he was allegedly aware of drug-seeking behavior and information that a patient was abusing / misusing medications. Further, there are also cases in which his patients’ urine samples came up negative for drugs he had prescribed but positive for others.
We will keep you updated as the administrative hearing gets underway.
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