Psych Crime Reporter

November 26, 2010

University of Cincinnati psychiatry professor Henry Nasrallah received more than $100K from drug companies last year

The University of Cincinnati website describes schizophrenia researcher Henry Nasrallah as “an internationally recognized psychiatrist, educator and researcher.”  Thanks to the work of the ProPublica news group, the University can now add “internationally recognized researcher compromised by pharmaceutical company influence.”

ProPublica, a public interest news agency, recently issued the report “Dollars for Docs,” in which they identified 384 physicians who received more than $100,000 from one or more of the seven pharmaceutical companies which publish such information (such companies include Eli Lilly, GlaxoSmithKline and Pfizer).

Pharmaceutical companies may pay physicians for various reasons, such as for giving promotional speeches about a company’s drug to groups of doctors or being a company’s paid consultant.

Nasrallah received more than $60,000 from Pfizer the last two quarters of 2009 for presenting “expert-led forums” and for related travel expenses.

He received $41,920 from Astrazeneca in early 2010 for being a paid speaker on their behalf.

He received more than $6,000 from Johnson & Johnson in 2010 for speaking fees.

[Delbello] disclosed that she’d received $100,000 from the company between 2005 and 2007, but Finance Committee Ranking Member Senator Charles Grassley discovered it was more than double that: $238,000.

Nasrallah is not the first or only University of Cincinnati psychiatrist to have his financial conflicts of interests exposed:   Melissa Delbello, a pediatric research psychiatrist with the University of Cincinnati was cited by the U.S. Senate Finance Committee for her failure to disclose to the university how much she had earned from pharmaceutical companies. In 2002, she was the lead author of a study that concluded that children responded well to the antipsychotic drug Seroquel, which is manufactured by AstraZeneca.  She disclosed that she’d received $100,000 from the company between 2005 and 2007, but Finance Committee Ranking Member Senator Charles Grassley discovered it was more than double that: $238,000.

Which raises the question: Has Nasrallah accurately reported his pharma income to the University?

(Used with permission of Citizens Commission on Human Rights International.)

November 24, 2010

Former counselor-therapist William Jefferson denied request for review/rehearing on license revocation

Filed under: health care licensing board discipline,mental health,mental health counselor — Psych Crime Reporter @ 9:58 pm

On May 7, 2010, the Arizona Board of Behavioral Health Examiners issued an Order of Denial of Review or Rehearing Request on professional counselor-marriage and family therapist William Jefferson.

The Board revoked Jefferson’s licenses/certificates in February 2010 due to his criminal history and history of being involuntarily terminated by his employer.  Jefferson is reported to have answered “no” on subsequent license renewal applications to questions about arrests/charges and involuntary terminations.  Specifically, the Board’s document states that Jefferson was arrested in July 1995 for the crime of resisting arrest and was charged with the same crime in March 1997.

In 2003 and 2005, Jefferson answered “no” on multiple renewal application background questions regard arrests and charges.

Jefferson was terminated from employment at an agency he’d worked at for 12 years for inability to comply with the agency’s policies and procedures and to perform at the expected level of professionalism.

He was also terminated in October 2002 from another agency he’d worked at concurrently for sexual harassment and was similarly terminated in December 2008 from yet another agency, also for sexual harassment.

During the Board’s investigation, Williams minimized and misrepresented his employment terminations.

Source: Arizona Board of Behavioral Health Examiners Adverse Action Tracking Form 2010, dated 21 September 2010.

 

Negligent custody evaluation costs mental health counselor her license

Filed under: Divorce and custody,health care licensing board discipline — Psych Crime Reporter @ 9:50 pm

On May 7, 2010, the Arizona Board of Behavioral Health Examiners revoked the license of professional counselor Linda Bennardo for the following reasons, as found in the Board’s report:

  • Bennardo treated a mother and her daughters for six months in 2008 and saw the mother’s son twice during that time.  She recommended limiting the father’s access to the son based solely on information provided by the mother and daughters.
  • In another case, Bennardo concluded that a three-year girl was highly traumatized by her visitation with her father—without having gathered any information on the matter from the father, parenting coordinator, best interest attorney or other entities.

The Board’s report also states that Bennardo failed to obtain informed consent for the aforementioned son and that informed consent for the aforementioned mother and daughters was incomplete, among other things.

Source: Arizona Board of Behavioral Health Examiners Adverse Action Tracking Form 2010, dated 21 September 2010.

State revokes counselor Russell Bentley’s license for boundary violations with teen client

On June 4, 2010, the Arizona Board of Behavioral Health Examiners reported that it revoked counselor Russell Bentley’s license.

The Board’s report states that Bentley’s employers (for whom he worked from August 2002 to August 2009) allowed him to resign in lieu of termination after investigating a complaint from the mother of a 16-year-old client whom Bentley treated for about a year and a half.

The client was described as vulnerable, with a father in prison and an alcoholic mother.  Bentley made non-therapeutic visits to the client; had dinner with the client and his mother in mother’s home on several occasions and stayed very late at their home on several occasions.  None of these activities were documented in the client’s file.

Bentley engaged in non-therapeutic activities with the client, including watching television and going out for food and coffee.  On one occasion, the mother alleged that she woke up late at night and found Bentley and her son watching TV, the son with his head in Bentley’s lap, Bentley stroking his head.

Bentley admitted massaging the boy’s shoulders and buying him pants and a shirt.

Source: Arizona Board of Behavioral Health Examiners Adverse Action Tracking Form 2010, dated 21 September 2010.

 

November 18, 2010

California medical board charges psychiatrist Reynald de Los Angeles on controlled substance matter

Filed under: controlled substances,mental health,psychiatrist — Psych Crime Reporter @ 6:59 am

On October 279, 2010, the Medical Board of California issued an Accusation against psychiatrist Reynaldo A. De Los Angeles based on disciplinary action taken against him by the state of Nebraska medical licensing authority.

On or about July 13, 2010, the Department of Health and Human Services of the State of Nebraska, issued an Order on Agreed Settlement against De Los Angeles, resulting in a $5,000 fine and a restriction on his license prohibiting him from keeping controlled substances on the premises of his medical practice.

The Nebraska Board found that De Los Angeles had failed to keep a records of controlled substances which were received by him, administered by him and used by him; failed to maintain controlled substances purchased under his DEA permit at a controlled location; failed to conform to the ethics of the medical profession and committed unprofessional conduct by appropriating the controlled stimulant drugs Provigil for his own use without a proper prescription.

Source: Accusation in the Matter of the Accusation Against Reynaldo A. De Los Angeles, license no. A35904, case no. 16-2010-209420, Medical Board of California.

Psychiatrist Jonathan D. Sommers charged by license board for excessive prescribing

On October 7, 2010, the Medical Board of California issued an Accusation against psychiatrist Jonathan David Sommers, seeking to suspend, revoke or otherwise discipline his license.

According to the Board’s document, it opened and investigation of Sommers based on information received from the Humboldt County Department of Health and Human Services, where Sommers was employed.

A review of his treatment of patients and prescribing practices was undertaken.  The investigation detected departures from the standard of care relative to five patients.

In general, the accusations center around prescribing psychiatric drugs to elderly patients at excessively high doses as well as numerous departures in the standard of care in the treatment of a 17-year-old suicidal patient.

Source: Accusation in the Matter of the Accusation Against Jonathan David Sommers, M.D., license no. G41535, Case No. 12-2008-193482, Medical Board of California.

Washinton refuses to license mental health counselor whose license was yanked in other state for patient sex

On September 2, 2010, the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) denied John H. Del Signore’s application for a credential to practice as a mental health counselor associate.

According to the DOH’s Order, Del Signore surrendered his license to practice as a professional counselor to the state of Colorado on October 28, 2009, based on his sexual contact with a client, maintaining an inappropriate relationship with a client and with providing services which fell below generally accepted standards.

“Del Signore surrendered his license to practice as a professional counselor to the state of Colorado on October 28, 2009, based on his sexual contact with a client….”

On December 15, 2009, Del Signore applied for a mental health counselor credential with Washington’s Department of Health Counselor Programs (Program).  The application required him to answer questions regarding previous denials, revocations and/or suspensions of health care license, to which he answered “yes.”

The Program issued a denial on April 9, 2010.  Del Signore filed a request for Adjudicate Proceeding on April 14, 2010.  The Presiding Officer of that Proceeding found that Del Signore is not qualified to practice as a mental health counselor in the state of Washington.

Source: Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law, and Final Order in the Matter of John Henry Del Signore, Application No. MHCA. MC. 60133243, Master Case No. M2010-353, State of Washington Department of Health Adjudicative Service Unit.

November 13, 2010

Peter Gleason, psychiatrist with ’08 federal conviction, loses license in CA and PA

Filed under: controlled substances,crime and fraud,psychiatrist — Psych Crime Reporter @ 4:33 am

On November 4, 2010, the Medical Board of California issued a Notice of Out of State Suspension Order on psychiatrist Peter C. Gleason.

According to the Order, the Board “determined, upon review of certified documents from the Pennsylvania State Board of Medicine, that [Gleason’s] Pennsylvania license to practice medicine was suspended on October 8, 2010.  Based on this suspension, your California license has been suspended effective immediately.”

California had reprimanded Gleason in March 2010, due to discipline, restriction, or limitation imposed by another state; specifically, the July 2008 was reprimanded by the Maryland State Board of Physicians, which found that he “regularly and over a long period of time, prescribed medications for a patient without noting either their side-effects or the patient’s responses to the medications.

Gleason kept scant notes of his treatment of the patient, and his records filed to reflect the dosage, strength or frequent of the powerful medications he prescribed.  The Maryland Board concluded that [Gleason] “has lost touch with the importance of maintaining adequate medical documentation.”

“…it is strongly suspected to be related to Gleason’s August 2008 criminal conviction in New York for the federal misdemeanor of “misbranding” a drug, in that he…was marketing Xyrem for medical indications that were not approved by the FDA

Though it is not yet known why Pennsylvania recently suspended his license, it is strongly suspected to be related to Gleason’s August 2008 criminal conviction in New York for the federal misdemeanor of “misbranding” a drug, in that he “did knowingly and intentionally introduce into interstate commerce…Xyrem (a central nervous system drug approved to treat narcolepsy and daytime sleepiness), that was misbranded within the meaning of 21 U.S.C. § 352 (f), in that [he] was marketing Xyrem for medical indications that were not approved by the FDA when [he]…well knew and believed, Xyrem’s labeling lack adequate directions for such uses and adequate warnings against such uses where such uses could be dangerous to the user’s health.”

Gleason was paid by the drug’s maker to appear at speaking engagements to promote the drug for the treatment of chronic fatigue, weight loss and insomnia—indications for which it is not FDA-approved.

He was sentenced February 22, 2010 to one year of probation.

Source: Notice of Out of State Suspension Order, in re: Peter Charles Gleason, M.D., California license G-87635, Case Number 16-2010-210247, Medical Board of California; Judgment in a Criminal Case and Criminal Case for Sentencing, USA v. Gleason, Case No. 06cr229(S-2)-01(ENV); Final Decision and Order, In the Matter of Peter C. Gleason, M.D., License No. D24640, Case No. 2005-0922, Before the Maryland State Board of Physicians and Alex Berenson, “Indictment of doctor tests drug marketing rules,” The New York Times, 22 July 2006.

State of Washington issues charge against psychiatrist Richard T. Adamson for sexual misconduct

Filed under: psychiatric rape,psychiatrist,sexual exploitation — Psych Crime Reporter @ 4:25 am
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On August 10, 2010, the State of Washington Department of Health (DOH) issued a Statement of Charges on psychiatrist Richard T. Adamson, alleging sexual misconduct, disclosure by a health care provider and unprofessional conduct.  According to the DOH’s document:

Adamson provided medication management and psychotherapy for “Patient A” from July 2004 to November 2008.  Early in therapy, “A” revealed that she had been sexually abused by her father.

Adamson violated doctor-patient boundaries by providing business consultation services to “A,” herself a family practice physician, from September 2006 until October 2008.

In mid-November 2008, Adamson and “A” attended a four-day conference in Colorado during which Adamson violated professional boundaries by dining with “A” and sharing personal information with her about his wife’s suicide and by kissing her in his office on their return from the conference.

On November 21, 2008, Adamson and “A” met at his office for a final psychotherapy session during which he encouraged “A” to seek treatment with someone else, then engaged in sexual intercourse with “A.”

From December 2008 to June 2009, “A” frequently met Adamson at his office and they would have sex.  “A” left her husband and moved into an apartment, where Adamson also engaged in sex with “A.”

The sexual relationship between Adamson and “A” ended sometime in June 2009 after Adamson told “A” that during their relationship he had been obsessed with another younger married woman and had engaged in “phone sex” and “instant messaging sex” with her.

The sexual relationship between Adamson and “A” ended sometime in June 2009 after Adamson told “A” that during their relationship he had been obsessed with another younger married woman and had engaged in “phone sex” and “instant messaging sex” with her.

Adamson treated “Patient B” on and off between September 1989 and January 2010.  The DOH’s document alleges:

In April or May 2009, Adamson disclosed to “A” that “B,” who had been the appointment before hers, had been talking about her in therapy, had a crush on her and wanted to ask her out.

In April or May 2009, “B” met “A” in the waiting room of Adamson’s office.  “B” developed a friendship with “A” and they saw one another socially until approximately November 2009.  In September 2009, “B” told Adamson that “A” had indicated she did not want to pursue a dating relationship with him.  “A” also told “B” that she had romantic feelings for another man whom she described as unrequited love interest.

Adamson violated doctor-patient boundaries when he (1) communicated to “B” that “A” was his patient and that he had a romantic relationship with her, (2) shared aspects of his personal life with “B” and (3) communicated to “A” information about the contents of his session with “B.”

Source: Statement of Charges in the Matter of the License to Practice as a Physician and Surgeon of Richard T. Adamson, M.D., License No. MD00019594, Case No. M2010-287, State of Washington Department of Health.

 

State of Washington denies license to psychiatrist Ishmeal Major

Filed under: controlled substances,crime and fraud,mental health,psychiatrist — Psych Crime Reporter @ 4:20 am
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On February 24, 2010, the State of Washington Department of Health Medical Quality Assurance Commission issued a Notice of Decision on Application to psychiatrist Ishmeal Major, denying his application for licensure to practice medicine in the state of Washington.

The bases of the Commission’s decision was (1) Major relinquished his license to practice medicine in the state of Florida on December 18, 2007 and (2) Major’s application for licensure in the state of Washington was denied.

According to the Florida Board of Medicine meeting minutes of November 30-December 1, 2007, the Board accepted Major’s voluntary relinquishment of his license in response to allegations that he had prescribed, dispensed or administered medicinal drug(s) to himself.

On February 22, 2010 the South Carolina State Board of Medical Examiners issued a Final Order publicly reprimanding Major.  South Carolina’s document states that the investigation against Major began when the New York State Education Department Office of the Professional Discipline had alerted the Florida Department of Health, alleging that Major had improperly issued a prescription for the sleep drug Sonata via the Internet.

The document further states that Major notified the South Carolina Board that he had had a six-month relationship with the website “US-Meds.com,” during which time he actively prescribed drugs via the Internet without conducting examinations or the other responsibilities of the doctor-patient relationship (which constitute the standard of care).

In addition to the reprimand, he was ordered to pay a fine of $1,000 and administrative costs of $500.

Source: Notice of Decision on Application, Re: Application No. 2009-141180, State of Washington Department of Health, February 24, 2010; Final Order in the Matter of Ishmeal Major, M.D., License #MD 22550, OIE# 2008-20, South Carolina Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation and Meeting minutes of the Florida Board of Medicine, November 30-December 1, 2007.

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