Southeast Michigan Physician Summarily Suspended for Overprescribing Controlled Substances - Reese James

Media Contact: LARA Communications 517-373-9280
Email: mediainfo@michigan.gov

February 27, 2017 - On February 24, 2017, the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) served an order suspending Dr. Reese James’s license to practice osteopathic medicine. The Michigan Public Health Code provides for summary suspension of a health professional’s license when the public health, safety, or welfare requires emergency action.

LARA also served an Administrative Complaint on Dr. James, alleging he overprescribed commonly abused and diverted controlled substances, including carisoprodol, hydrocodone, oxycodone, and oxymorphone without medical necessity, and that Dr. James put patients at risk by prescribing dangerous combinations of controlled substances.

In the third quarter of 2016, Dr. James prescribed more carisoprodol 350 mg, oxycodone 30 mg, and oxymorphone 40 mg than anyone in Michigan. Dr. James practiced at multiple clinics in the Warren and Clinton Township area and in the months of June, July, and August of 2016, he wrote an average of eighty-seven controlled substance prescriptions on each workday.

Governor Snyder’s Michigan Prescription Drug and Opioid Abuse Task Force called for a more comprehensive enforcement program against licensed health professionals who participate in overprescribing.

In January 2016, LARA and the Department of Attorney General began a collaborative effort to identify, investigate, and seek enhanced sanctions against licensed health care professionals who overprescribe dangerous drugs, such as opioids, for other than lawful medical purposes.

In August 2016, LARA created a permanent Drug Monitoring Section to build upon the work of the pilot program. The new Section works closely with the Department of Attorney General and health professional boards to stem the prescription drug abuse epidemic in Michigan.

For more information on disciplinary actions taken by the health professional licensing boards within LARA, please go to http://www.michigan.gov/healthlicense.

For more information about LARA, please visit www.michigan.gov/lara.

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