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After 4 patients die, Miami doctor told to stop prescribing
    #1536666 - 05/10/03 10:52 AM (17 years, 6 months ago)


After 4 patients die, Miami doctor told to stop prescribing drugs

By Fred Schulte
Staff Writer
Posted May 7 2003

State health officials, citing the deaths of four patients from drug overdoses, have ordered a Miami doctor to stop prescribing narcotics and other controlled drugs.

A 23-page state order served Tuesday on Jerome F. Waters accuses the 72-year-old physician of "excessive and inappropriate prescribing of highly addictive" drugs to four patients who died between September 2001 and April 2002.

One of them showed up at Waters' office with a cold and left with a prescription for 90 pills of Dilaudid, a super-potent narcotic typically used to treat cancer pain.

Waters also gave Dilaudid and the painkiller methadone to a 25-year-old man who complained about a sore toe, according to the state complaint.

In these cases and two others, Waters failed to perform adequate physical exams or order tests to justify prescribing large quantities of pain pills and sedatives, according to the state order.

"Dr. Waters has demonstrated a flagrant disregard for the duties and responsibilities imposed upon a physician practicing in the state of Florida," reads the emergency order signed by Department of Health Secretary John Agwunobi.

The order calls Waters "an immediate and serious danger to the health, safety and welfare of the public," adding: "Dr. Waters' acts manifest such a propensity to violate the rules and laws governing physicians that a continuation of this practice is likely to recur."

Waters faces a hearing before the Florida Board of Medicine, which could take action ranging from a fine to revocation of his medical license.

Sarah Brown, an office employee, said that Waters would have no comment.

`Out of business'

"This takes my breath away. They essentially put him out of business," said Maureen Flori of Davie, whose son, Drew Parkinson, was one of the four patients,

"I don't want any other family to have to endure the pain we've gone through in the past year," said Flori, who has campaigned for a crackdown on Florida doctors who over-prescribe. "Justice needs to be served and these doctors need to be held accountable."

Waters came under investigation after the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported in October that six patients he was caring for had died of overdoses in the past two years. Most were found dead at home and some had taken illegal drugs along with their medicines.

A growing problem

Waters is the third South Florida physician whom the state has barred in recent weeks from prescribing narcotics, which have surpassed heroin and cocaine throughout the state as killers of drug abusers.

He has practiced medicine in South Florida for more than four decades, the last two from an 85-year-old stucco house he owns at 237 NE 33rd St. in Miami.

In recent years, many of Waters' patients have been people on Medicaid, the federal health insurance plan for the poor. Waters is one of the largest prescribers of narcotics, especially OxyContin, for these patients in the state, records show.

In past interviews with the Sun-Sentinel, Waters acknowledged that some patients tried to use him to feed their drug habit, but he denied responsibility for patients who overdosed.

State health officials argue that Waters showed a "lack of concern" about possible patient drug abuse.

In treating Susan Thibodeau, 46, for back and neck pain in January 2001, for instance, he documented no medical complaint, but gave her a prescription for 90 Dilaudid, as well as a sedative, Xanax, and a muscle relaxer, Soma.

Two months later, she complained of urinary incontinence and heartburn, and Waters gave her the same medicines without an examination.

Patients' problems

On a third visit in April 2001, Thibodeau told Waters that federal drug agents had confiscated some of her pills. He wrote her new prescriptions for Xanax, and added 120 methadone pills, according to the state order. She returned four more times for more pills before she died in September of 2001 from a multiple drug overdose, according to state records.

Clinton Carner, 45, who complained of a painful hip, also had a drug abuse history. Waters did not document the causes of his hip problem, but prescribed large amounts of drugs, including morphine, to treat it.

On one visit in September 2001, Carner complained of having a cold and received a prescription for 90 Dilaudid pills and 30 doses of morphine.

He died the next month from morphine intoxication, according to Miami-Dade medical examiner's office records.

Barbara Friedman, 55, admitted that she was a heroin user, but Waters prescribed OxyContin and Xanax several times, again without documenting a medical need for the drug, the state order says.

In caring for Parkinson, Waters also failed to document any medical need for pain pills. Parkinson complained of severe back pain on his first visit. On a second visit, he said that his big toe hurt and that he was concerned about a bald spot.

In three visits, he received more than 1,400 doses of methadone, Dilaudid and Xanax. He died on April 1, 2002, two days after his last visit to the doctor.


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Re: After 4 patients die, Miami doctor told to stop prescribing [Re: motaman]
    #1536669 - 05/10/03 10:58 AM (17 years, 6 months ago)

I want that doctor haha

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Tripper of the trips.

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Re: After 4 patients die, Miami doctor told to stop prescribing [Re: motaman]
    #11645546 - 12/13/09 11:07 PM (10 years, 11 months ago)

shit people fuck up and OD and die and the good doctor gets in trouble. fuck i want a cold and get 30 doses of morphine lol.

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