Mont. dentist fined for writing prescriptions for colleague

A Billings, MT, dentist who has worked with the underserved was disciplined and fined $4,000 for writing prescriptions for a colleague's patients, according to a news story in the Billings Gazette.

Joseph P. Thomas, DDS, 57, wrote prescriptions for antibiotics and Vicodin between May 2010 and August 2012 for an oral surgeon who had lost his controlled substance privileges.

In March 2010, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) suspended the oral surgeon's DEA registration number and a federal jury found him guilty of possessing cocaine with intent to distribute in October of last year, according to the story.

"I was trying to do a favor for a friend who presented his problems as frivolous," Dr. Thomas told the Gazette. He also told the Gazette that he thought he was helping to save a friend's business.

In addition to the fine, Dr. Thomas will be required to complete, at his own expense, an additional eight hours of board-approved continuing education classes in the area of ethics and/or prescription writing, the story concluded.

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