N.J. Board of Medical Examiners Obtains Temporary License Suspension of Monmouth County Physician Accused of Indiscriminately Prescribing Excessive Amounts of Oxycodone to Approximately 50 Patients Without Medical Justification
Newark - The New Jersey State Board of Medical Examiners has obtained the temporary suspension of the license of Dr. Paul M. DiLorenzo, an Oakhurst physician accused of indiscriminately prescribing massive amounts of the addictive painkiller oxycodone to approximately 50 patients over the course of two years. One patient was found dead, with traces of oxycodone in her blood, approximately one month after receiving a prescription from DiLorenzo.
For multiple patients, DiLorenzo allegedly prescribed amounts of oxycodone – 240 milligrams per day – that would be appropriate only for the most extreme of underlying conditions, such as end-of-life care. He allegedly wrote the prescriptions without establishing a valid medical basis. While so doing he also in many cases allegedly failed to keep medical records, conduct patient examinations, or establish that his patients had medical conditions that would warrant such extreme dosage levels.
"This physician allegedly contributed to New Jersey's crisis of opiate addiction through the flagrant and irresponsible abuse of his authority to prescribe controlled substances," Acting Attorney General John J. Hoffman said. "We are cracking down on doctors who push pills for profit at the expense of public health and safety."
Division of Consumer Affairs Acting Director Steve Lee said, "Dr. DiLorenzo allegedly provided dangerous amounts of oxycodone to dozens of patients for no legitimate reason, while collecting hundreds of dollars in cash per visit. Exposing bad doctors is a crucial component of New Jersey's fight against opiate abuse."
As set forth in the Attorney General's administrative complaint, filed with the Board of Medical Examiners by the Division of Law:
DiLorenzo demanded cash from his patients, charging $500 for an initial visit and $300 for each subsequent visit. On multiple occasions, the patients who came to his office would obtain oxycodone prescriptions without actually meeting DiLorenzo. One of his employees had complete access to DiLorenzo's prescription pad and would use it to write prescriptions in DiLorenzo's name, even though this individual was not a licensed prescriber.
In addition to being DiLorenzo's employee, this individual also was a patient who obtained massive amounts of oxycodone from DiLorenzo with no medical justification from a period beginning in 2009 through January 2012. During the same time period, DiLorenzo also wrote oxycodone prescriptions for this individual's wife and four of their other relatives. DiLorenzo failed to maintain proper medical records for these individuals, even though he regularly provided them with excessive amounts of oxycodone.
Another of DiLorenzo's patients was found dead at her Ocean County home on April 11, 2012. The toxicology report from her autopsy revealed significant amounts of oxycodone in her blood as well as a blood alcohol concentration of 0.261. This individual first became DiLorenzo's patient in February 2010, at which time he immediately prescribed 240 milligrams of Roxicodone per day – four times the standard initiating dosage for this addictive opiate. Over the following months he also prescribed OxyContin and valium for this patient. DiLorenzo's last prescription for this patient was written approximately one month before she died.
DiLorenzo has agreed to the temporary suspension of his medical license, without making admissions regarding the Attorney General's complaint. The temporary suspension will remain in place pending the disposition of a plenary hearing before the Office of Administrative Law, and pending further order of the Board of Medical Examiners. He previously entered into an interim consent order with the Board, in which he voluntarily agreed to cease and desist from the practice of medicine and surgery effective June 13, 2014.
In a separate matter, DiLorenzo on September 8, 2014 pleaded guilty to Federal charges related to structuring transactions in order to avoid reporting requirements, and filing false tax returns.
The Division of Consumer Affairs' Enforcement Bureau conducted this investigation.
Deputy Attorney General Labinot Berlajolli represented the State in this matter.
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