State Board Temporarily Suspends License of Doctor Who Allegedly Prescribed Highly Addictive Pain Killers Indiscriminately
NEWARK – Beginning today, a Passaic County doctor is temporarily barred from seeing or treating patients while he awaits a disciplinary hearing before the State Board of Medical Examiners (BME) for allegedly prescribing highly addictive pain killers to patients without proper medical justification.
Dr. Mohamed Kawam Jabakji (known as Dr. Kawam), who maintains a medical practice in Prospect Park, is temporarily suspended until further action by the BME. The BME acted after the State produced information that Kawam allegedly prescribed pain killers, including Oxycodone, Percocet and Codeine, to at least six patients without performing physical examinations or developing a plan of treatment for each patient. Kawam maintained blank or virtually blank patient records for each of the six patients despite prescribing prodigious quantities of highly addictive narcotics and other controlled substances.
"We're pleased the Board of Medical Examiners recognized the clear and imminent danger posed by Dr. Kawam and protected the public through this temporary license suspension," Acting Attorney General John J. Hoffman said. "Indiscriminate prescribing of pain killers is often the first step on the road to heroin addiction, which is why taking immediate action is necessary."
The BME will consider further disciplinary action against Kawam at a future hearing.
"Patients entrust their well-being to their doctors and the alleged actions of Dr. Kawam violated that trust," said Steve Lee, Acting Director of the State Division of Consumer Affairs. "Dr. Kawam's alleged actions demonstrated a deviation from accepted standards of care that placed patients at unnecessary risk."
In its filed complaint, the State alleged Kawam's treatment of the six cited patients demonstrated "gross deviation from the standard of care given the lack of examinations, time lapses between visits, failure to address clear drug seeking and doctor shopping behavior and absence of any legitimate medical record keeping." The State further alleged that Kawam's actions demonstrated "gross negligence" which endangered these patients.
The Division of Consumer Affairs' Enforcement Bureau conducted this investigation. Deputy Attorney General David M. Puteska, Assistant Chief of the Professional Boards Prosecution Section in the Division of Law, represented the State. Deputy Attorney General Megan Cordoma provided legal counsel to the Board.
Acting Attorney General Hoffman and Acting Director Lee wish to thank the Drug Enforcement Administration for its assistance in bringing this matter to the State's attention and in providing invaluable assistance during this investigation.
The Office of the Attorney General and Division of Consumer Affairs have launched a comprehensive strategy to fight the diversion and abuse prescription pain killers. This effort includes:
The expansion of the
New Jersey Prescription Monitoring Program (NJPMP), to include direct data-sharing with the PMPs maintained by the States of Connecticut and Delaware, and efforts to build a similar data-sharing partnership with New York State. As of April 9, 2015, 88.4% of the state's 29,400 licensed doctors had registered to use the NJPMP database. About 169,000 user requests were submitted to the NJPMP during the preceding 30-day period. This statewide database tracks the prescription sale of all drugs, including prescription pain killers, classified as Controlled Dangerous Substances (CDS) or Human Growth Hormone into New Jersey.
Launching the first-in-the-nation online app that allows authorized users of the NJPMP access to the database via Apple smartphones and handheld devices. The app is located at
The creation of the
Pain Management Council, an advisory body that will help the Division of Consumer Affairs develop best practice recommendations for New Jersey's healthcare professionals. The goal is to create voluntary guidelines that will enable prescribers to provide pain management, while maintaining effective controls to prevent drug diversion and abuse.
Expanding "Project Medicine Drop" to 122 locations across New Jersey. The Division of Consumer Affairs installed secure "prescription drug drop boxes" at police departments, sheriff's offices, and State Police barracks, allowing citizens to safely dispose of their unused, excess, or expired prescription medications at any time without an appointment.