INDIANAPOLIS (WLFI) - The state of Indiana and two doctors from Wagoner Medical Center have come to an agreement restricting the physicians' ability to prescribe controlled substances.
As we've previously reported, several doctors, physician's assistants and other employees of Kokomo and Burlington-based Wagoner Medical Center were recently charged in relation to the overdose deaths of dozens of patients.
The investigation into the deaths dates back months – and back in March, the Indiana Attorney General's Office filed petitions with the state medical licensing board, asking it to temporarily suspend Dr. Robert Brewer and Dr. William Terpstra from practicing medicine.
The board dismissed those petitions Thursday and instead, approved restricted agreements. The attorney general's office also filed licensing complaints against the two doctors.
"The state's concerns that the Respondents presented an immediate danger to the public health and safety have been addressed by these restrictive agreements," Deputy Attorney General of Licensing Enforcement and Homeowner Protection Mike Minglin said. "Our priority remains public safety and we will be prepared to present the state's complaints in the upcoming disciplinary hearings."
Brewer is not practicing medicine at this time and resigned from Wagoner Medical Center in February. According to Thursday's agreement, if Brewer starts practicing again he cannot prescribe controlled substances related to the treatment of pain, and he must refer patients with chronic pain to a qualified pain management specialist.
Brewer would also be required to provide a monthly log of any controlled substances that are prescribed. The agreement will be in effect until the board considers the licensing complaint on Oct. 25 and determines what, if any, disciplinary action will be taken.
Terpstra entered into the same agreement as Brewer did, but he had previously given up his ability to prescribe controlled substances with the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). If he seeks to obtain his previous DEA registration, he has to notify the attorney general's office and the board.
Terpstra also agreed to not engage in the use of a "ghost" prescriber for any medications for his patients. His agreement will be in effect until the board considers the state's complaint on July 25.
As for Drs. Donald and Marilyn Wagoner, owners of the center who were also charged, on March 27 they both signed voluntary agreements with the state that allow them to practice medicine, but restrict them from prescribing narcotics or opiates until the Medical Licensing Board's June 27 meeting.
At that meeting, the board will consider the state's complaints and determine what, if any, disciplinary action will be taken against the Wagoners.
According to the filed agreements, the Wagoners will also not prescribe any controlled substances related to pain management or employ a physician for the purposes of prescribing pain medication. The doctors will also refer patients with chronic pain to a qualified pain management specialist.
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