by: Tina Terry Updated: Aug 1, 2017 – 6:21 PM
RALEIGH – Channel 9 uncovered a statewide investigation naming and disciplining physicians and physician’s assistants for giving high doses of opioids at times to known addicts.
In April of 2016, the North Carolina Medical Board launched a special initiative to increase oversight of opioid prescribing in the state. The Safe Opioid Prescribing Initiative uses information from North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services to identify prescribers to investigate.
The medical board looked into the top 2 percent of those prescribing 100 milligrams of morphine equivalents per patient per day.
The top two percent of those prescribing 100 MMEs per patient per day in combination with any benzodiazepines and prescribers with two or more patient deaths in the preceding 12 months due to opioid poisoning who prescribed opioids within 60 days of death.
About 73 cases were investigated and of those, the medical board issued an action against about 40 percent of them.
In only 12 percent of the cases were the punishments public.
One doctor and one physician’s assistant