NEWARK – The State Board of Medical Examiners today accepted a doctor’s decision to voluntarily cease medical practice, rather than face a hearing scheduled for today to temporarily suspend his license, amid allegations that he committed gross malpractice, gross negligence and/or gross incompetence for indiscriminately prescribing painkillers and testosterone to patients.
Dr. Roger Lallemand Jr, 39, and the board reached an interim consent order whereby he agreed to stop practicing medicine today. Lallemand also agreed to return his Controlled Dangerous Substances registration so he can no longer prescribe these prescription drugs.
The interim consent order will remain in place until the board holds a plenary hearing on the complaint filed by the Attorney General against Lallemand on May 1, and considers further action against his license.
The complaint filed earlier this month alleges that Lallemand did not perform adequate physical examinations of patients before prescribing large quantities of powerful painkillers to them. The complaint further alleges that Lallemand routinely prescribed testosterone to patients at excessively high dosages with no medical necessity.
According to the complaint, Lallemand continued to prescribe large quantities of high dosage painkillers to patients even after urine test results indicated that the patients were not taking the painkillers. He also allegedly falsified at least one patient treatment record to substantiate the prescriptions.
Lallemand also allegedly lacks adequate training for some of the medical procedures he performed, including those related to physical rehabilitation, pain management and testosterone treatment, among others.
“We believe Dr. Lallemand poses a clear and imminent danger to the public and cannot be allowed to remain in practice pending the plenary hearing,” Attorney General Jeffrey S. Chiesa said. “We were prepared to ask the board to act today, if the interim consent order was not agreed to, in order to protect the public.”
The complaint arises from investigations conducted by the Division of Consumer Affairs’ Enforcement Bureau and the federal Drug Enforcement Administration.
According to the complaint, an undercover DEA agent posing as a patient came to Lallemand’s office multiple times beginning in late 2011. The agent complained of discomfort in his lower back and buttocks and stated that he had not received any physical therapy. He asked Lallemand for Roxicodone, a prescription painkiller, and received a prescription for 56, 30-milligram pills. No physical examination was conducted, other than the doctor touching the agent’s knee and asking if the agent could feel it.
In subsequent visits, the agent allegedly received prescriptions for Oxycodone, Roxicodone and Xanax. Lallemand noted in the patient record that the agent stated his pain was worse, and that he was experiencing muscle spasms, when no such comments were made to the doctor, according to the complaint.
The investigations also involved the review of actual patient records. That review allegedly revealed that Lallemand failed to adequately monitor patients and failed to adequately document the effectiveness of various pain medications.
In one case, a patient prescribed Oxycodone showed no trace of the painkiller in his urine sample, an indicator of possible diversion for illegal use by non-patients. The urine sample tested positive for the presence of cocaine, but Lallemand allegedly failed to send the patient to an addiction specialist.
Regarding testosterone, Lallemand prescribed steroids to three patients, two male and one female, after he diagnosed each as having hormone deficiency. However, all three showed testosterone levels above maximum acceptable levels upon re-testing after their treatments began.
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