Following an emergency hearing before the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Medicine, Dr. Michael R. Brown, a Cape Cod physician, has lost his medical license on the grounds that he wrote an incredible number of prescriptions for the powerful painkiller, OxyContin.
The doctor is also facing criminal drug possession charges for allegedly buying back painkillers he had prescribed to a patient.
Dr. Brown, who became known as “Dr. Feel Good,” wrote so many prescriptions for OxyContin in 2004 that it is estimated he single-handedly accounted for approximately 300,000 of the 923,000 tablets sold in the entire state for the year. Many of the prescriptions deemed to be excessive were to children.
OxyContin is an FDA approved medication for the relief of chronic pain and is often used by cancer patients. The drug, however, also has a dark side and has become a widely abused and addictive “street” drug that offers a quick heroin-like high.
Nancy Achin Audesse, executive director of the Board, said that although Brown had been required in 2001 to take courses in pain management, he continued to over-prescribe OxyContin. This resulted in the emergency action by the Board which believed Dr. Brown posed "an immediate and serious threat to the public safety and welfare."
The doctor can appeal the suspension, which will remain in effect indefinitely.
On Tuesday, Brown, 52, pleaded innocent to 13 counts of illegal drug possession within intent to distribute. The doctor has also been accused of buying back painkillers he had prescribed to a patient.