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December 11. 2012 9:44PM

Franklin doctor gives up his license

A Franklin pediatrician has given up his medical license for the next four years, after complaints surfaced that he overprescribed narcotics to children, provided care outside his field, prescribed narcotics for the parent of one of his patients and did not properly document presciptions of the highly addictive oxycodone, according to the Board of Medicine.

In a settlement agreement signed by Dr. Mark D. Weinreb, he admitted exceeding normal boundaries expected of doctors and their patients. He discussued unspecified "inappropriate aspects of his personal life" with parents of patients, and he even friended child patients on Facebook.

"In one instance, (Weinreb) became upset over a Facebook message from a pediatric patient and intially refused to refill her medication until the patient had apologized to him," the Board wrote.

Weinreb's license was suspended in January, and under the terms of the agreement, he gives up his license for at least five years, starting from the date of the suspension.

Before applying for relicensure, he must participate in a multidisciplinary assessment by the Kansas firm Acumen Assessment. The assessment must consider his health and psychological records, past restraining orders, complaints against him and investigative reports.

For the next year, he must disclose his licensure problems to any potential employer if the job involves patient care or physician work.

According to on-line records, Weinreb was licensed to practice in New Hampshire in 1995. He earned his medical degree from the State University of New York Upstate Medical University in Syracuse in 1989. His internship and residency were in New Hyde Park, N.Y., and Mineola, N.Y., respectively.

The Board of Medicine said it became aware of Weinreb in October 2011, when a pediatric psychiatrist questioned the validity of Weinreb's diagnoses and the variety and doses of prescriptions he wrote for their mutual patients.

A review of Weinreb's practice found serious flaws in psychiatric care, the Board wrote in the settlement agreement that Weinreb signed on Nov. 21. His charts showed inadequate documentation for assessments, inadequate rationale for prescriptions, use of complex medications in absence of their effectiveness, off-label use of prescription drugs, "chaotic" adjustments of medication, and the failure to refer to specialized care.

The Board said Weinreb's prescriptions of oxycodone fell below proper standards, and he prescribed excessive amoutns of narcotics to children without documenting his rationale for doing so.

"He repeatedly refilled prescriptions for narcotics without examining patients. He would issue refills when patients failed to show up for appointments. On at least one occasion, he met a patient's parent outside of the office in order to provide the parent with a prescription for her child," the Board said in its settlement agreement.

Weinreb admitted continuing the prescription of pain medicine even after warned by other physicians. And he did not properly document oxycodone prescriptions.

"(Weinreb) prescribed controlled drugs for a parent of one of his pediatric patients. This individual was not a patient of record and (Weinreb) failed to make any record of this incident," the Board wrote.

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Mark Hayward may be reached at mhayward@unionleader.com.

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