NORTH ARLINGON, N.J. – New Jersey's Board of Medical Examiners temporarily suspended the medical license of North Arlington physician Eric Thomas after finding that he Oxycodone, OxyContin and other drugs to patients "without adequate medical justification."
The Board also found that Thomas failed to appropriately respond when he discovered some patients had high blood pressure, uncontrolled diabetes, and other medical conditions.
The Board said it also found that Thomas "failed to act when urine tests revealed that his patients were taking illegal narcotics, such as cocaine and heroin.
"The urine tests also showed no presence of the pain killers that Thomas had prescribed, a warning sign that patients were not taking the pain killers, but instead may have been providing the pills to others," the Board added in a release Thursday morning.
In reviewing six patient records, the Board reported finding that Thomas "did not document appropriate physical examinations of the patients; did not document patient medical histories; did not create treatment plans; and did not perform or order diagnostic testing."
This "constituted gross negligence" and “endangered the life, health, welfare or safety” of his patients, authorities said.
“Prescription drug abuse, particularly abuse involving pain killers, is a national problem, one that Dr. Thomas abetted through his negligent practice of medicine,” acting Attorney General John J. Hoffman said. “The flood of prescription pain killers in our communities starts with indiscriminate prescribing by physicians violating their duty to ‘do no harm.’”
“Patient safety is the cornerstone of the physician-patient relationship, and we allege Dr. Thomas did not put the safety of his patients first,” said Steve Lee, Acting Director of the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs. “Faced with the serious allegations against Dr. Thomas, the Board acted appropriately to make certain that patients are not put in harm’s way.”
The interim license suspension is indefinite, pending the outcome of a hearing.
Division of Consumer Affairs investigators made the case, in cooperation with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office and the North Arlington Police Department.
Deputy Attorney General Jillian Sauchelli presented it to the Board.
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