State medical board suspends psychiatrist; prescribed painkillers without exams

October 20, 2013

RAHWAY, NJ — A Rahway psychiatrist has agreed to a temporary suspension of his medical license over claims he negligently wrote prescriptions for powerful painkillers without examining patients, state officials said today.

Dr. Ranajit Mitra has been temporarily prohibited from practicing medicine and writing prescriptions for the painkillers, some of which are addictive, under an interim consent agreement with the state Board of Medical Examiners, acting Attorney General John Hoffman said today.

Mitra, 61, owner of St. George Behavioral Care in Rahway, was accused of violating a 2011 agreement with the state medical examiners board that prevented him from prescribing controlled dangerous substances for pain management, Hoffman said in a statement.

State officials, in a complaint to the medical examiners board, alleged Mitra issued prescriptions for painkillers without first conducting physical examinations of his patients, the attorney general said. Also, he said Mitra failed to keep records of patient's treatment plans, failed to consider alternatives to painkillers and did not refer patients to pain management specialists.

Authorities also accused Mitra of providing large quantities of short-acting drugs at frequent intervals without conducting toxicology tests on the patients, according to Hoffman's statement.

"The abuse of painkillers is a national epidemic that regulators and law enforcement at all levels are working to address," Hoffman said.

The interim agreement was reached last week, just before a disciplinary hearing scheduled before the state board.

Authorities did not say how long Mitra’s license would be suspended.

However, a woman answering a call at St. George Behavioral Care said Mitra would not be back in the office until Nov. 14, and that he would not return any calls until then.

Other attempts to reach Mitra were unsuccessful.

Source: Tom Haydon, "Rahway psychiatrist's license temporarily suspended over painkiller prescriptions," The Star-Ledger, October 15, 2013.


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