Mann Retained License Despite Deaths

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

But in Mann's case, even other doctors had registered complaints. One of them, Dr. Jim Smith of Russellville, told the board in an August 2003 letter that Mann's "medical practice and prescribing practices are a grave concern to myself, other local physicians, and the community as a whole."

After the Medical Board suspended his prescription privileges in October 2003, Mann appealed the board's ruling to Pulaski County Circuit Court. The court affirmed the board's ruling in March 2004. Mann then appealed to the Arkansas Court of Appeals.

On June 3, 2004, the board agreed that if Mann dropped the appeal, he would be found only to have violated the board's regulations involving the prescribing of amphetamines and methamphetamines. And after Mann submitted proof that he had completed a three-day course on prescribing scheduled medication at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, he was allowed to reapply for his permit to write controlled medications.

On July 13, 2004, Mann's license to practice medicine was listed as "unlimited and unencumbered."

More Allegations

In September, just two months after Mann's license was restored, more patients started overdosing on medicines he prescribed.

Dr. George Richison told investigators in early 2005 that he had treated several of Mann's patients for overdoses in the emergency room of St. Mary's Regional Medical Center in Russellville, according to a March 7, 2005, investigative report in Mann's file at the Medical Board.

Richison told investigators that he "could not imagine why a physician would continue to prescribe addictive medications to" drug offenders instead of entering them into a treatment program.

On Aug. 20, 2005, Kevin Allen Curry, 43, of Dardanelle, who suffered from facial pain, saw Mann for the first time. Mann prescribed Norflex, Zoloft, Valium, OxyContin, Percocet, lorazepam, methadone, propoxyphene and doxepin, according to a malpractice complaint Curry's family filed in Yell County Circuit Court.

Curry was already taking Percocet, Valium, Ambien, trazodone, Norflex, Zoloft, Effexor and OxyContin, the lawsuit said.

Four days after seeing Dr. Mann, Curry was dead. An autopsy report said Curry had died from mixed drug intoxication combined with alcohol, although lawsuit claims the amount of alcohol in Curry's system was "negligible."

It wasn't until April 21, 2006, however, that the Medical Board issued an emergency order suspending Mann's license for over-prescribing drugs. Eight deaths in 2005 were blamed on Mann's over-prescribing habits, according to the emergency order.



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