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Doctor On Probation Over Opioid Prescriptions

HERMISTON, Ore. (AP) – Following a complaint filed last year, Hermiston Dr. Bruce Carlson will no longer be able to treat patients with opioids for chronic pain unless they suffer from terminal illnesses.

The East Oregonian reports Carlson was placed on probation by the Oregon Medical Board in July after a complaint that alleged he prescribed controlled substances without medical purpose or without following proper procedures.

Carlson said he is complying with the stipulated order, which includes a $5,000 penalty, a five-year probation period and compliance to an educational plan.

If Carlson completes the probationary period successfully, his license will not be revoked.

According to the Oregon Medical Board, Carlson allowed a physician assistant to continue issuing prescriptions for Schedule II narcotics even though she failed her national recertification test.

Carlson says he believed the assistant could still prescribe Vicodin, which had been listed as Schedule III, but was later reclassified as a Schedule II drug.

The complaint also lists several incidents in which Carlson reportedly prescribed excessive amounts of opioids to patients without medical justification. Carlson disagrees with the board’s findings that he prescribed without justification.

Information from: East Oregonian, http://www.eastoregonian.com


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