Medical License of Burlington County Psychiatrist Suspended for Prescribing Massive Doses of Opioids While Not Abiding by Prescription Monitoring Program Regulations
NEWARK - Attorney General Christopher S. Porrino and the Division of Consumer Affairs today announced that the State Board of Medical Examiners has temporarily suspended the medical license of a Burlington County psychiatrist who allegedly prescribed tens of thousands of dosage units of opioids to two patients while not abiding by the mandatory
Prescription Monitoring Program ("PMP") lookup provision for chronic pain prescribing.
Dr. Joel B. Glass, who had a practice in Marlton, has been ordered by the Board to turn over his medical license, his federal Drug Enforcement Administration and his New Jersey Controlled Dangerous Substances registrations, and to cease practicing medicine and writing prescriptions.
Glass' case is the first in which the Board has cited a physician for violating the PMP's regulations concerning mandatory lookups. Effective November 16, 2016, all prescribers must conduct quarterly PMP lookups for any existing patient to whom they prescribe Schedule II CDS for acute or chronic pain.
The Board's action also was spurred by a referral from the Vermont Board of Medical Practice.
"The patient could not have taken all the drugs allegedly prescribed to him by this doctor and survived," said Attorney General Porrino. "Our message to these doctors is clear; if you are not checking the PMP database, as required by the new law, we will take swift and punitive action against you."
"It's encouraging to see the level of cooperation between states when it comes to discovering and sharing information on indiscriminate prescribers," said Steve Lee, Director of the Division of Consumer Affairs. "As more and more states establish interconnectivity with the New Jersey Prescription Monitoring Program, we expect to see more situations where we share information and find and discipline those who do not obey the laws governing the prescribing of Controlled Dangerous Substances."
An investigation by the Division of Consumer Affairs Enforcement Bureau and DEA uncovered evidence that for one patient, Glass allegedly prescribed large amounts of highly addictive substances such as oxycodone and diazepam for several years. Many of the prescriptions were actually filled in Morrisville, Vermont. Glass continued to prescribe the drugs, even after several monitoring agencies and peer reviews had flagged the dosages as excessive and/or inappropriate, according to the verified complaint filed against him.
In 2013, for example, Glass allegedly prescribed 7,560 units of 30-milligram oxycodone, but despite all the prescriptions, Glass' patient notes did not indicate any physical examinations of the patient, according to the verified complaint. The complaint also alleges that there were fewer than five pages of handwritten notes and no notes at all for October and November of that year.
The investigation also found that Glass allegedly had not performed a PMP lookup on the patient until November 11, 2015. After the regulation mandating PMP lookups for chronic pain prescribing to effect on November 7, 2016, Glass allegedly only performed one lookup, on December 19, 2016, even though he prescribed oxycodone to the patient until April 8, 2017.
In a second case cited in the complaint, Glass is alleged to have prescribed "dramatically high quantities" of oxycodone to a 43-year-old woman without documenting any physical or diagnostic tests. The complaint alleges there was a "dearth of evidence supporting these prescriptions."
In addition to surrendering his medical license, Glass must also notify the DEA of the Interim Order within 30 days and provide proof of that notification.
Investigators with the Division of Consumer Affairs' Enforcement Bureau conducted the investigation.
Deputy Attorney General Kate J. Calendar of the Professional Boards Prosecution Section represented the State in this matter.