The Pennsylvania Board of Osteopathic Medicine refused Wednesday to let Thomas C. Barone, a pain management physician whose prescribing practices were linked to the deaths of four patients, return to his Center City practice.

The decision continues a license suspension that began two years ago, after investigators accused Barone of inappropriately prescribing tens of thousands of pills, most of them highly addictive opioid painkillers, to four patients who later died of overdoses, one of them due to heroin.

The medical board gave no reason for its decision, which will be followed by a written order. But a hearing examiner had recommended after a September hearing that Barone’s reinstatement petition be denied. She said that while Barone had completed a required training and skills assessment program, he did not follow up on 10 recommendations that the program had made. Among them was enrollment in a medical ethics course at Rutgers University after he scored in the lowest percentile on an ethics assessment.

Barone testified at the hearing that he believed the recommendations were unnecessary and not cost-effective.
Reached on Wednesday, Barone said only that he did not know whether he would reapply for his medical license.

No criminal charges have been brought against Barone. Prosecutors pursue criminal counts involving prescribing practices only in extraordinary cases.

– Don Sapatkin
Philly.com

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PDMP Center of Excellence at Brandeis University, February 2014 Briefing

The abuse of opioid pain medication has a devastating impact on public health and safety in this country, killing 46 people every day… Prescription Drug poisoning deaths – now over 30,000/yr – outnumber deaths from motor vehicle crashes.

National Center for Health Statistics/CDC

Rick Bunker is a co-founder, and the CEO of Prescription Advisory Systems and Technology (P.A.S.T.). In this role, he is responsible for capital formation and corporate development.

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