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Franklin pediatrician Mark Weinreb loses license after inappropriate prescription practices

The Franklin pediatrician accused of inappropriately prescribing medications to patients and their parents and behaving unprofessionally on Facebook agreed last month not to practice medicine in New Hampshire for at least five years.

In an agreement released Monday, Mark Weinreb voluntarily surrendered the state medical license he held for more than 17 years.

The board of medicine declared Weinreb prescribed excessive amounts of narcotics without documenting his medical rationale, and repeatedly refilled narcotic prescriptions without examining patients, including issuing refills even when patients failed to show up for appointments.

He continued prescribing narcotics for patients even after other physicians expressed concern about their use of the drugs, and even after it was reported their parents filled the prescriptions at numerous pharmacies and paid cash, “all signs of possible abuse,” the board wrote.

The board also found that Weinreb prescribed drugs for a parent of a patient and failed to document numerous prescriptions for a pair of brothers, whose mother was a friend of his.

Weinreb could not be reached for comment, but in January, when the board issued an initial suspension of his license, he told the Monitor he disputed the allegation that he prescribed the boys so much oxycodone that if taken as prescribed, the dosages would have been lethal.

In one case, the board accused him of prescribing more than 2,000 oxycodone pills over an 11-month period; the second patient was prescribed more than 1,200 pills over 10 months. If there were extra pills, the mother of the two patients “was getting rid of them,” Weinreb told the Monitor.

He also said in January the complaints against him were retaliation from the family of a patient against whom he filed a restraining order after she sent him a threatening message on Facebook.

Weinreb said he didn’t think it was inappropriate to be Facebook friends with his patients, despite the board’s allegation that it violated professional conduct standards.

He said that he maintained the connections to “find out the best way to help them.”

“I use Facebook as more of a tool, what they were doing, who they were dating,” he said.

But his digital connections with patients and their families broke appropriate boundaries, the board wrote, especially when, in the case in question, he refused to fill the patient’s prescription until she apologized.

Her mother then complained about Weinreb to her daughter’s pediatric psychiatrist, who contacted the board of medicine.

According to the agreement with the board of medicine, more than one complaint was filed.

A child psychiatrist contacted the board in December 2011 to raise concerns about Weinreb’s prescribing practices for five patients. Then, in April of this year, an emergency room physician filed a complaint voicing concern about Weinreb over-medicating a 5-year-old patient.

To reapply for his license, Weinreb must participate in a comprehensive multidisciplinary assessment, including a review of his mental and physical health records beginning Jan. 1, 2011, and comply with all recommendations from the evaluation, including ongoing counseling.

(Sarah Palermo can be reached at 369-3322 or spalermo@cmonitor.com or on Twitter @SPalermoNews.)

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