Federal Consent Decree Permanently Bans Baltimore-Based Physician Assistant from Prescribing Opioids and Controlled Substances
Government Alleged that the Physician Assistant Issued Hundreds of Prescriptions that had No Legitimate Medical Purpose
Baltimore, Md., – U.S. District Judge Deborah L. Boardman has approved a consent decree that permanently enjoins Elizabeth J. Allen, a Baltimore-based physician assistant, from prescribing opioids and other controlled substances, resolving the United States’ civil allegations that Allen violated the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) in illegally prescribing opioids. Under the consent decree, Allen agrees to never apply for or seek the reinstatement of her DEA registration—which is required for a medical professional to prescribe controlled substances, and which lapsed in 2020.
The approval of the consent decree was announced by Jarod Forget, Special Agent in Charge of the DEA Washington Division; United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Erek L. Barron; andActing Assistant Attorney General Brian Boynton of the Justice Department’s Civil Division.
“The DEA continues to hold prescribers and all medical professionals accountable when they violate the law,” stated SAC Forget. “Overprescribing controlled substance pharmaceuticals remains a key threat and can lead to overdoses. We will continue to investigate these prescribers in order to save lives.”
The government alleged that from 2014 to 2019, Allen, who practiced medicine as a physician assistant at the Centers for Rehabilitation, Pain Management, and Wellness in Pikesville, Maryland, issued hundreds of prescriptions that had no legitimate medical purpose and fell outside the usual course of professional medical practice.
More specifically, the government’s complaint alleged that Allen repeatedly prescribed dangerous and potentially lethal combinations of opioids and benzodiazepines. The complaint also alleged that Allen continued to prescribe patients opioids even after some tested positive for illicit or unprescribed substances in urine toxicology screens. Although the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention generally recommends that primary care clinicians avoid daily dosages of opioids over 90 morphine milligram equivalents (MME), the government alleged that Allen wrote prescriptions that could cause some patients to exceed 700 MME daily. The government alleged that prescriptions written by Allen were a contributing factor in the death of at least one Marylander. Allen denied the government’s allegations.
SAC Forget commended the DEA’s Office of Diversion Control, Washington Division, Baltimore District Office, and the U.S. Attorney's Office of Maryland for their work in the investigation.
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