CRIME: Federal Court Injoins Maryland Physician Assistant From Prescription Of Opioids And Other Controlled Substances

dWeb.News Article from Daniel Webster dWeb.News

Today, the Department of Justice announced that a federal court in Maryland has permanently stopped a Baltimore-based physician from prescribing opioids or other controlled substances.

Elizabeth J. Allen was stopped from prescribing, administering, or dispensing controlled substances pursuant to an agreement judgment in the U.S District Court for the District of Maryland. This consent decree is the result of a civil lawsuit filed by the government alleging Allen had repeatedly prescribed opioids while working in a Maryland pain clinic. The government claimed that Allen, from 2014 up to 2019,, issued hundreds of prescriptions without a legitimate medical purpose that were not within the scope of professional medical practice. Allen must not apply again for or seek reinstatement of her DEA Registration. This is necessary for a medical professional who can prescribe controlled substances.

Anyone who prescribes opioids or other controlled substances must adhere to professional standards and the law,” stated Acting Assistant Attorney General Brian M. Boynton, of the Justice Department’s Civil Division. “The Department of Justice will continue working with its law enforcement partners in order to ensure that medical providers adhere to the Controlled Substances Act

“Physician Assistants and nurse practitioners are subject the Controlled Substances Act. They cannot overprescribe opioids or hide behind affiliations with doctors to avoid criminal and civil liability.” said U.S. attorney Erek L. Baron for the District of Maryland. “The consent decree approved by the court should remind medical practitioners that the U.S. Attorney’s Office will use every tool at its disposal, both criminal and civil, to combat the opioid epidemic that continues to plague Maryland. We will hold accountable all Maryland medical professionals who overprescribe opioids. This applies regardless of their titles or the letters that follow them The DEA continues to hold prescribers responsible when they violate the law,” stated Jarod A, Special Agent in Charge. Forget the DEA Washington Division. Overprescribing controlled substances pharmaceuticals is a serious threat that can lead to overdoses. To save lives .”

We will continue to investigate these prescribers. The government’s complaint claimed that Allen had repeatedly prescribed potentially fatal combinations of opioids, benzodiazepines, and other dangerous substances. Allen was also accused of prescribing opioids to patients even after they tested positive for unprescribed or illicit substances in urine toxicology screens. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that primary care physicians avoid daily opioid doses exceeding 90 Morphine milligram equivalents. (MME). However, the government claimed that Allen had written prescriptions that could have caused some patients to exceed 700 daily MME. Allen’s prescriptions were blamed for at least one Marylander’s death. Allen refuted the government’s claims.

The investigation was carried out by the DEA’s Office of Diversion Control in Washington Division, Baltimore District Office.

The case was handled jointly by Alan C. Lazerow, Assistant U.S. attorney, and Thomas Rosso, Trial Attorneys with the Justice Department’s Consumer Protection Branch.

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