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DEA: Chargers' MD wrote 108 prescriptions to self

Discussion in 'Chargers Fan Forum' started by Johnny Lightning, Jul 15, 2010.

  1. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

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    Padres' drug orders also face scrutiny

    By Brent Schrotenboer , UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER
    Wednesday, July 14, 2010 at 10:25 p.m.


    Federal drug enforcement agents searched the offices of Chargers team doctor David Chao two weeks ago because they learned he apparently had written at least 108 drug prescriptions to himself since June 10, 2008, which would violate controlled-substance regulations, according to recently unsealed search warrant affidavits.
    Drug Enforcement Administration spokeswoman Amy Roderick said that “based on what we have reviewed, we have no reason to believe that he was using the medication himself.”
    The DEA also searched the offices of Padres doctors because of similar prescription-writing irregularities. Documents were seized at pharmacies where Chao and another Chargers doctor, Calvin Wong, had the prescriptions filled, and at the La Jolla office of Padres doctor Gaston Molina.
    The DEA declined to say which drugs were prescribed.
    “The data and the information retrieved during the warrants are being processed and reviewed,” Roderick said. “The investigation is considered ongoing.”
    Chao’s attorney, Jim Godes, said he doesn’t think criminal action is likely against his client. A spokesman for the Padres doctors said they “are cooperating fully with the DEA in this investigation and have prescribed all medications for appropriate medical reasons.”
    The Chargers and Padres declined to comment Wednesday.
    The DEA searched the offices of the two teams’ doctors June 29 after serving 10 administrative inspection warrants. The DEA asked a magistrate judge to grant the warrants after finding irregularities in how some team doctors issued prescriptions.
    Padres team doctor Harry Albers apparently wrote six prescriptions to himself, according to an affidavit. Molina wrote six prescriptions for fellow Padres doctor Robert Kakehashi, which made the prescriptions “suspicious,” an affidavit said.
    Doctors who write prescriptions to themselves sometimes do it to fill office supplies, even though it is illegal, said Glen Crick, a Chicago attorney who has represented medical practitioners.
    “It happens, but it is a violation,” said Crick, who is not involved in the case. “If they were not self-medicating, it would be unusual if there would be any criminal charges. If somebody did it 108 times, I’m surprised the DEA didn’t realize it before. Generally, a local pharmacist will see the prescriptions and say this is wrong.”
    If the DEA finds violations, Crick said an outcome of the case could be that the doctors will have to make a case to the government about why they should be allowed to continue dispensing prescription drugs.
    “A DEA registration (to dispense controlled substances) is not a right,” Crick said. “It’s a privilege granted by the federal government.”
    The case’s origins can be traced to the May arrest of former Chargers safety Kevin Ellison, who had been charged with illegally possessing 100 Vicodin painkiller pills when he was stopped for speeding in Redondo Beach. The Chargers have said the Vicodin was not provided by the team or its doctors.
    “Based on this arrest and other recent media coverage of another NFL team (the New Orleans Saints) dealing with suspected controlled substance violations,” the DEA’s San Diego office conducted a review of prescription drug records through its automated records system and the state controlled-substance monitoring program, according to an affidavit by DEA investigator Brenda Catano.
    The idea was “to identify controlled substances purchases and prescription activity by physicians associated with San Diego’s professional sports teams,” the affidavit said.
    The review found that from June 10, 2008, to June 10, 2010, one of Chao’s registration numbers had 65 controlled-substance prescriptions issued in the patient name “David J. Chao M.D.” Another registration number issued to Chao had 43 in the same patient name.
    Catano said in one affidavit, “Because Dr. Chao is not a patient, my training and experience lead me to suspect that David J. Chao, M.D., has possibly self-prescribed or possibly used prescriptions to obtain controlled substances for office dispensing to patients, violating at least one of these regulations which, as a registrant, he is required to obey.”
    An affidavit also said Chao had written several other prescriptions to patients named “Healthsouth Ctr,” “Medical Cent OASIS” — Chao works at the Oasis Surgery Center in San Diego — and other business names. Because these are not patients, the prescriptions are “suspicious and unlawful,” an affidavit said.
    In the case of Padres doctor Molina, the affidavit said significant quantities were filled in Kakehashi’s name March 9 in Encinitas and March 11 in San Antonio. The March 9 prescription would provide a 15- to 30-day supply; the March 11 order would provide 67 to 135 days.
    Based on this information, a magistrate judge signed the warrants.
    It’s not the first time Chao has been scrutinized for his handling of prescription drugs.
    In 2002, Chao was issued a $1,000 citation by the state medical board for failure to maintain adequate and accurate medical records. The charge stemmed from allegations Chao had unlawfully written narcotics prescriptions for former Chargers doctor Gary Losse, whose alleged addiction to such narcotics led to his being dropped by the Chargers in 1998, according to court records.
    Chao, an orthopedic surgeon, has operated on many pro athletes, including cyclist Floyd Landis and wrestler Rey Mysterio. As Chargers doctor, he cares for injured players.
    Last year, the state medical board also filed a complaint against Chao, accusing him of abusing alcohol and unprofessional conduct stemming from two alcohol-related incidents in 2006 and 1995.
     
  2. Johnny Lightning

    Johnny Lightning Go Bolts

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    DEA: Chargers doctor not suspected of using meds

    By The Associated Press
    Wednesday, July 14, 2010 at 11:46 p.m.


    SAN DIEGO — The Drug Enforcement Administration said Wednesday it doesn't believe Dr. David Chao of the San Diego Chargers medical staff was using medications himself even though he apparently had written at least 108 drug prescriptions to himself since 2008.
    DEA spokeswoman Amy Roderick says the agency is continuing the investigation that started on June 29 when it searched the offices of the Chargers and San Diego Padres, their doctors and their pharmacies.
    "Based on what we have reviewed, we have no reason to believe that he was using the medication himself," Roderick said.
    In a statement Wednesday night, Chao denied the implication of self-use or self-prescribing of controlled substances and said he will continue to appropriately treat injuries.
    DEA agents learned Chao apparently had written at least 108 drug prescriptions to himself since June 10, 2008, which would violate controlled-substance regulations, according to recently unsealed search warrant affidavits, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported on its website.
    Doctors who write prescriptions to themselves sometimes do it to fill office supplies, even though it is illegal, Glen Crick, a Chicago attorney who has represented medical practitioners, told the newspaper.
    The DEA investigation comes several weeks after the Chargers released safety Kevin Ellison, who was arrested in May in Redondo Beach on suspicion of possessing a controlled substance. Police said a search of Ellison's vehicle turned up 100 pills of Vicodin.
    The Chargers said then, and Chao reiterated Wednesday, that Ellison did not receive the Vicodin from anyone associated with the team.
    Chao said he is dedicated to the care of athletes and provides care "with the highest standards, consistent with that of all major sports leagues."

    The Associated Press
     
  3. RM24

    RM24 BoltTalker

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    Doc should have gave some of those painkillers to US since we are still feeling the PAIN of those heartbreaking playoff losses!!! :icon_evil:
     
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  4. Buck Melanoma

    Buck Melanoma Guest

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    Smells like a double standard to me. :tdown:
     
  5. LaDeezie21

    LaDeezie21 BoltTalker

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    You have just earned yourself some Bolt Cash my friend!!!
     
  6. HEXEDBOLT

    HEXEDBOLT Don't like it, lump it!!!

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    Ahhhh, what the hell's a few pills between friends????
     
  7. RM24

    RM24 BoltTalker

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    Thanks LaDeezie. Let's pass out the drugs now...(just kidding...)
     

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