Psychiatrist Andrew Abarbanel placed on license probation for prescribing violations

December 15, 2011

On September 29, 2011, the Medical Board of California placed the license of psychiatrist Andrew M. Abarbanel on probation for three years with terms and conditions for several counts of gross negligence, repeated negligent acts (regarding documentation) as well as excessive prescribing and prescribing without appropriate prior examination and medical indication.

The Board’s Accusation document gives information on Abarbanel’s treatment of four patients. For example,

Abarbanel prescribed numerous different antidepressants and other psychiatric drugs to 16-year-old patient over a nine-year period but failed obtain informed consent for most of them. For the last six years of “treatment,” his records contain only 14 entries that appear to reflect only telephone contact and no data about the patient’s condition.

Abarbanel prescribed the narcotic painkiller oxycontin to a 21-year-old patient who complained of pain though Abarbanel made no notations regarding the source or level of the patient’s pain, any medical history of pain or documentation of a physical examination. Four days later, the patient reported his oxycontin had been stolen. Abarbanel wrote him another prescription.

The terms of his probation include an ethics course, a medical record keeping course, a prescribing practices course and other additional continuing medical education.

Source: Stipulated Settlement and Disciplinary Order in the Matter of the Accusation Against Andrew Abarbanel, M.D., Physician and Surgeon Certificate No. G-47490, Case No. 03-2009-201966, Before the Medical Board of California Department of Consumer Affairs.  


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