Guam psychiatrist accused of improperly writing prescriptions
A local and federal investigation is underway after a complaint was made against a Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse doctor who is accused of using another doctor's privileges to write prescriptions. Psychiatrist Dr. Laura Post filed a criminal complaint with the Guam Police Department on September 9.
KUAM News confirmed with the Tumon-Tamuning Precinct that Dr. Post filed a complaint alleging that a recently hired physician was using her Drug Enforcement Administration number to prescribe a controlled substance. Prescriptions for Buprenorphine were allegedly written out using her DEA registration number while she was off-island and without her knowledge or consent. Buprenorphine is a schedule II controlled substance, often prescribed for heroin or opiate addicts, and can only be given through a prescription.
The DEA provides registration numbers to practitioners who successfully meet all the requirements imposed by a state or territory to obtain a state license. According to the DEA's web site, if a practitioner fails to obtain a state license, then the DEA cannot issue a registration number, which means that individual cannot prescribe medicine.
While a complaint was filed with GPD and forwarded to the local DEA office, Mental Health director Dr. David Shimizu says post never approached him about her concerns. "I don't know why she has not done that, but I have taken my due diligence and have contacted the Attorney General's Office and the Civil and Solicitor's Division to look into this," he said.
The Guam Board of Medical Examiners meanwhile is also looking into the complaint made by Dr. Post.
KUAM News has confirmed the complaint was lodged against clinical psychiatrist Dr. Renato Gahol, who does in fact have an active license on Guam. The board met today and did not discuss the complaint in detail only forwarding the matter to the board's complaints and disciplinary subcommittee. In fact, during today's GBME meeting the board approved changes to the way it handles complaints against practitioners and physicians.
The board will accept complaints and then have the subcommittee review it to determine whether it must be addressed with other entities. The subcommittee takes no formal action but will present their findings to the board possibly during their next meeting, scheduled for October 14.
DEA resident agent-in-charge Tony Marquez is currently off-island and could not be reached for comment about the investigation. KUAM News was unable to contact Dr. Gahol for comment.