State restricts psychiatrist David A. Ruben from prescribing painkillers; failed to show patient need

July 5, 2010

After a finding that he failed to show why several of his patients needed prescriptions, a Tucson psychiatrist is on probation with the Arizona Medical Board and is temporarily forbidden from prescribing certain drugs.

The board, which licenses doctors in Arizona, cited cases where Dr. David A. Ruben prescribed pain medication, including Oxycodone and OxyContin, to patients without properly verifying their need for them.

The medical board's report says that in more than one case, Ruben created a potential for abuse of the medications.

Ruben, a 1974 graduate of the University of Arizona College of Medicine, says he's agreeing to the conditions only to end the matter, not because he did anything wrong.

Ruben was disciplined by the board before. On April 1, 2009 the board gave Ruben a "letter of reprimand" and placed him on probation for one year. In that case, the board found that Ruben's conduct could have perpetuated a female patient's drug addiction. The psychiatrist completed that probation, including continuing medical education in pain management.

As part of his agreement with the board, Ruben agreed to take part in a periodic review of his charts. Board records say that Ruben's charts were randomly selected by the board's staff and reviewed by a medical consultant who found deviations in the standard of care in each case, as well as record-keeping issues.

Source: Stephanie Innes, "Board says he failed to show patients' need for pain drugs: Doctor on probation for prescriptions," Arizona Daily Star, July 3, 2010.

IF YOU HAVE INFORMATION ABOUT A PSYCHIATRIST, PSYCHOLOGIST, MENTAL HEALTH FACILITY OR ITS EMPLOYEES COMMITTING FRAUD, YOU CAN REPORT IT TO CITIZENS COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS, WHO CAN ASSIST YOU IN FILING REPORTS, COMPLAINTS, ETC.  PLEASE CONTACT STEVE WAGNER, DIRECTOR OF LITIGATION AT swagner@cchr.org

 

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