Newark - The New Jersey State Board of Medical Examiners has obtained the revocation of the medical license of Dr. Ali G. Mansour, a Somerset physician accused of engaging in a grossly negligent pattern of prescribing narcotic painkillers that put his patients at risk of addiction, and of continuing to prescribe increasing dosages to patients despite clear evidence that they were abusing drugs.
The revocation of Mansour's license became effective upon the Board's ratification of a consent order signed by the doctor. Mansour may reapply for his medical license a full two years after the effective date of his revocation. However, he will remain permanently prohibited from prescribing Controlled Dangerous Substances (CDS) in New Jersey. The consent order included Mansour's agreement to permanently surrender his state-issued authority to prescribe CDS.
"This doctor allegedly continued to make large quantities of narcotic painkillers available to patients, despite evidence of apparent drug abuse. This is a violation of his oath to do no harm, and his obligation to help patients who show signs of addiction," Acting Attorney General John J. Hoffman said. "The Board of Medical Examiners took the right action in revoking his license."
The Division of Consumer Affairs' Enforcement Bureau, acting on behalf of the Board of Medical Examiners, investigated Mansour's prescribing history with regard to eight patients for whom he prescribed narcotic painkillers and/or other CDS.
"The crisis of opiate abuse has claimed too many lives in New Jersey," Division of Consumer Affairs Acting Director Steve Lee said. "We will not tolerate doctors who act more like drug dealers than the medical professionals they should be."
As set forth in the Attorney General's administrative complaint, filed with the Board of Medical Examiners by the Division of Law:
Mansour often prescribed excessive amounts of potentially addictive drugs such as oxycodone or alprazolam to certain patients, even though their specific diagnoses did not warrant such large quantities of the drugs. In each patient's case, Mansour was presented with evidence of apparent drug abuse. For example, several patients tested positive for heroin, cocaine, or prescription opiates that Mansour had not prescribed for them. However, in each of these cases, Mansour continued to prescribe increasing amounts of CDS. On multiple occasions he even wrote "No illicit drug use" in the patients' records, despite their failed drug tests.
Additionally, Mansour in several cases obtained data from New Jersey's Prescription Monitoring Program (NJPMP) that revealed that the patients were "doctor shopping" and/or "pharmacy shopping" – visiting multiple physicians or pharmacies in order to obtain large quantities of narcotic medications without arousing suspicion. One patient obtained opiate prescriptions from 23 other doctors in a one-year period and filled the prescriptions at 10 different pharmacies. These findings also did not prevent Mansour from prescribing increasing dosages and/or amounts of addictive medications.
One 31-year-old male patient obtained large quantities of Roxicodone and Xanax from Mansour for more than two years. Mansour's records for the patient indicate that in May 2013, the patient tested positive for cocaine, and prescription drugs that Mansour had not prescribed for him. Despite this finding, Mansour continued to prescribe large amounts of opiates for this patient in June and July 2013.
Mansour also prescribed large amounts of opiates to that same patient's wife. The female patient obtained large quantities of drugs, including Roxicodone and Xanax, from Mansour for approximately three years. Records at two different New Jersey hospitals show a history of apparent illicit drug use by this patient with substances such as cocaine, ecstasy and marijuana, and "needle track markers … in all extremities." Mansour obtained a report from the NJPMP which showed that the female patient obtained prescriptions for oxycodone and methadone from another doctor, and filled them at five different pharmacies, while being treated by Mansour. Despite these warning signs, Mansour continued to prescribe CDS to the patient.
As with other patients, Mansour had these two patients sign detailed "Consent for Opioid Therapy" agreements, but kept prescribing large quantities of opiates despite each patient's violations of those agreements, such as testing positive for drugs and/or indications of doctor-shopping. Mansour also prescribed CDS to these patients for extended periods of time with little or no evaluation of the continued need for such drugs, and in the absence of diagnoses that would justify the large amounts of opiates.
The Consent Order, revoking his license, states that Mansour does not contest the State's allegations. The Consent Order also includes a requirement that Mansour pay $150,000 to the State over the next two years. That total includes a $100,000 civil penalty and $50,000 reimbursement of the State's investigative costs and attorneys' fees.
Under the agreement, Mansour must wait two years before becoming eligible for re-obtaining his medical license. Before reapplying he must successfully complete Board-approved classes on prescribing and on record keeping. Within the second year of his revocation period, he must also comply with the findings of a skills and competency evaluation by either Albany Medical College or the Center for Personalized Education of Physicians (CPEP). As part of his reapplication process he must appear before a committee of the Board. If reinstated, he would be placed on two years' probation. Even if Mansour is granted a medical license upon fulfilling these requirements, he will remain prohibited from prescribing CDS in New Jersey, as he has permanently surrendered his New Jersey CDS registration as part of the Consent Order.
The Division of Consumer Affairs' Enforcement Bureau conducted this investigation.
Deputy Attorney General Delia DeLisi, assigned to the Division of Law's Professional Boards Prosecution Section, represented the State in this matter.