Mann Retained License Despite Deaths

by Mark Friedman  on Monday, Mar. 8, 2010 12:00 am  

Having his drug-prescribing privileges suspended allegedly prompted Dr. Randeep Mann to detonate a car bomb that nearly killed the chairman of the Arkansas State Medical Board.

But in hindsight, the fact that the board never stripped Mann of his medical license - despite 10 dead patients and at least one allegation that he traded drugs for sex - makes his punishment seem lenient.

The Medical Board started receiving complaints about Mann's prescribing habits in 2001, according to an investigative report in Mann's file at the Medical Board.

Mann, now 51, was the only doctor at the Skyline Medical Clinic in Russellville, where one of his specialties was internal medicine. 

Several of his patients had overdosed and two had died, according to the Medical Board's Emergency Order of Suspension & Notice of Hearing on July 9, 2003. He also had "an alleged claim of sex for drugs by one of the overdose victims and another by a minor female," and another female patient felt threatened when Mann flashed photos of his $1 million gun collection, the 22-page 2003 investigative report said.

The Arkansas State Medical Board could have yanked Mann's license in October 2003 but instead sanctioned Mann for prescribing methadone for the treatment of addiction when he didn't have the proper credentials to do it. In addition, the board found that he had violated regulations involving prescribing amphetamines and methamphetamines, but the drugs-for-sex allegation was not proved.

It voted to revoke his license for five years, but the revocation would be stayed as long as Mann surrendered his Drug Enforcement Administration permit to prescribe controlled substances for at least a year. The board also ordered Mann to receive more education on the prescribing of medication and to pay $9,500 for the expenses incurred for the investigation.

But even that limited punishment didn't last a full year. By the next summer, the Medical Board had cut a deal that allowed Mann to get his privileges back.

"If the Medical Board would have pulled his license the first time, instead of making a deal with him, that would have saved some lives," said Phillip Milligan, a Fort Smith attorney who is representing the survivors of a patient in one of two malpractice lawsuits pending against Mann.

Early Allegations

William H. Trice III of Little Rock, a private attorney who represents the Medical Board, said it is hard to prove that a prescribing doctor is responsible for a patient's overdose.

"Often when you are over-prescribing, you will end up with a population base of people who are substance abusers," Trice said. "Very seldom do the cases prove out that they can only be attributed to that doctor's judgment."

 

 

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