The one doctor below makes a very good comment as to why this went so long as several ER doctors had flagged his prescribing methods, and yet if there’s bad record keeping, the medical board is all over a doctor.
!2 patients died since 2006 and he was known as the Candy Man by some patients. When you look at the one example of a patient being prescribed over 2000 pills in six weeks, I think that’s a flag. The other issues at hand were female patients with drugs for sex. This should prove to be an interesting case and all the traffickers are not on Florida. For 15 years the DEA had complaints about the doctor. This was pretty bad when other doctors get in touch with the DEA to report you and looks pretty obvious. BD
(SANTA ANA, Calif.) — Emergency room doctors at a Santa Barbara hospital saw a disturbing trend for more than a decade — patient after patient hooked on prescription drugs shared the same physician.
Despite their complaints to state medical authorities and federal law enforcement, Dr. Julio Diaz continued practicing even though 12 patients had died since 2006.
His arrest Wednesday on federal drug trafficking charges came as no surprise to some who knew him. What stunned them is that it took so long.
"I don't really understand what happened there," said Dr. Chris Lambert, an emergency physician at Cottage Health System who was one of the doctors to flag Diaz's prescribing patterns. "Physicians these days get censured for bad record keeping — the medical board is on them immediately for making an error in a chart. But what happened in this case? How did it slide along?"
Diaz hasn't been charged in connection with the deaths, which remain under investigation. He is accused of illegally prescribing large amounts of painkillers to patients who didn't need the drugs and for accepting sexual favors as payment from some women.
Lambert said the complaints about Diaz date back roughly 15 years, and doctors reached out to the DEA about four years ago. DEA spokeswoman Sarah Pullen said the investigation into Diaz began in mid-2009, but she was unaware of any prior complaints against him.
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