NEWARK – New Jersey Consumer Affairs Director Eric T. Kanefsky has filed actions seeking to strip 12 New Jersey doctors of their ability to prescribe Controlled Dangerous Substances (CDS), including highly addictive painkillers.
All but one of the 12 doctors were convicted in federal or state courts, for criminal offenses related to their illegal prescribing of controlled substances. The remaining doctor’s license was revoked by the State Board of Medical Examiners, due to a civil complaint in which the Attorney General alleged he indiscriminately prescribed CDS. Kanefsky’s action follows those criminal and civil matters, and seeks to permanently revoke each doctor’s CDS registration.
“Revocation of a doctor’s CDS registration, when a doctor has already been criminally convicted or lost his or her license, creates an additional barrier that will protect the public, should any of these doctors seek to have their medical license restored,” Acting Attorney General John J. Hoffman said. “We are engaged in an all-out effort to stem an epidemic in which opiate pain pills are a primary gateway drug. As part of this fight, we are protecting the public from doctors convicted of being part of the problem, or who lost their license due to findings that they were part of the problem.”
Physicians obtain their medical licenses through the New Jersey Board of Medical Examiners. But no licensed physician may prescribe Controlled Dangerous Substances – including highly addictive painkillers such as Oxycodone – without a CDS registration, which is granted by the Director of the Division of Consumer Affairs.
Revocation of a physician’s CDS registration provides an extra layer of protection to the public, should the revoked doctor ask the Board of Medical Examiners for a reinstatement of his or her medical license. Even if the Board restores the doctor’s license to practice medicine, these individuals would still need to apply to the Consumer Affairs Director for reinstatement of his or her CDS registration. The doctor would be required to make a clear and detailed demonstration as to why restoration of his or her CDS registration would be in the public interest.
“When a doctor is found to have abused the privilege to prescribe CDS by making drugs available to abusers or dealers, our default position should be that the doctor will never again be able to prescribe these medications,” Kanefsky said. “Doctors who have been convicted of behaving like street drug dealers, or who lost their licenses due to similar findings, will need to apply not just to the Board of Medical Examiners, but also to the Director of Consumer Affairs, if they want to practice again. They will need to demonstrate that they can be trusted with the responsibility they once abdicated.”
Kanefsky added, “Working hand in hand with the Board of Medical Examiners, we will continue to use all enforcement tools in our arsenal against those who choose to use a professional license to harm the public.”
In the cases of the following 12 doctors, Kanefsky issued Orders to Show Cause why their CDS registration should not be revoked. The Orders set forth hearing dates within approximately 45 days. They require each doctor to provide a written rationale in advance of the hearing, as to why their CDS registration should not be revoked. Failure to respond may result in the matter being considered in the doctor’s absence. Following the hearing, the Director may issue an order suspending or revoking the doctor’s New Jersey CDS registration.
Among the doctors named in today’s actions are:
- Eugene Demczuk, who practiced in Union and in Brooklyn, New York. The Board of Medical Examiners revoked his license in April 2012. He pleaded guilty in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, to conspiring to distribute CDS and possess with intent to distribute CDS. According to information included in the Order to Show Cause, the arrest followed an undercover investigation in which, on multiple occasions, Demczuk prescribed oxycodone to an undercover FBI agent. The Order notes that Demczuk accepted $150 per prescription without performing any medical examination or requesting any medical information from the patient; and that he provided additional prescriptions to the undercover agent in the names of other individuals.
- Roger Lallemand Jr., who practiced in Old Bridge. The Board of Medical Examiners revoked his license in January 2013. The Attorney General filed an administrative complaint against Lallemand in May 2012, alleging that he indiscriminately prescribed CDS, specifically narcotics and testosterone, to nine patients including an undercover officer from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, between December 2011 and March 2012.
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