Doctor fined for illegal prescribing
Fri, 20 Jul 2012 12:24p.m.
A Lower Hutt doctor has been ordered to pay nearly $40,000 after he prescribed weight-loss drugs and sedatives to a patient for years, despite knowing of her addictions and that she was on a prescription black list.
Stokes Valley's Denis Wong, who had 37 years' experience, has been found guilty of professional misconduct charges by the Health Practitioners Discliplinary Tribunal, according to a decision released today.
The charges related to the period between 2000 and 2010.
Dr Wong prescribed the woman duromine, an appetite suppressant and known to be a drug of abuse, and the sedative triazolam.
Despite living in Wellington, she went to Dr Wong to get her prescriptions. She had been put on a drug restriction notice in 1996, about the time she started seeing him as a GP.
The woman was described as slim and 165cm tall. The tribunal said it was questionable as to whether she should have been taking weight-loss drugs, the tribunal said.
She told him a number of times she had lost her medication or it had been stolen, or needed more prescriptions because she was travelling.
"Dr Wong displayed no understanding as to how to deal with these classic drug seeking behaviours."
He had told her she should see the Alcohol and Drug Clinic, but she did not do so.
The woman was described as a difficult patient and in 2006 Dr Wong noted "how can I get rid of this patient!!" but did nothing to refer her for treatment or stop prescribing.
The situation came to light when another doctor saw the woman while Dr Wong was ill and suspected she was selling the drugs.
A Wellington pharmacy also rang Dr Wong to say staff had seen her selling drugs she had just collected, but Dr Wong said it was only their word against hers and he would continue to prescribe.
Dr Wong told the tribunal he had sold his practice to another doctor and would be retiring after its decision.
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