A retired Wisconsin physician has agreed to pay $70,000 to resolve allegations that he improperly prescribed opioids to patients and told them how to successfully fill various opioid prescriptions at once.
On Tuesday, U.S. Attorney Scott C. Blader of the Western District of Wisconsin announced the settlement agreement with Dr. Clifford T. Bowe, of Cadott.
Bowe owned and operated Cadott Medical Center in Chippewa County, which mostly served patients suffering from opioid-use disorder and other addictions. He had received authorization to treat up to 100 opioid-dependent patients with medication-assisted treatment.
Drug Enforcement Administration officials did an inspection related to Bowe and his clinic in 2017. According to the settlement, Bowe voluntarily surrendered his DEA Registration Number after the DEA informed him of allegations that he failed to comply with federal controlled-substance requirements under the Controlled Substances Act.
The government alleged Bowe improperly prescribed the medication used for treatment and other opioids, and told patients how to fill simultaneous prescriptions to avoid rejection by pharmacies and insurance payments.
The DOJ also accused him of prescribing Schedule II opioids to treat opioid-use disorder, prescribing emergency Schedule II controlled substances to a family member who hadn’t met regulatory requirements, and failing to maintain records and inventory about controlled substances at the clinic.
Bowe denied the allegations, except for admitting that he had pre-signed incomplete patient prescriptions at some time other than the date of issuance and placed them in patient charts, violating federal law.
In 2016, the State of Wisconsin also opened cases into Bowe’s prescribing practices. A Wisconsin Medical Examining Board order said he agreed to resolve the cases by voluntarily and permanently surrendering his Wisconsin license to practice medicine. He didn’t admit or deny engaging in unprofessional conduct, and he cited his age and limitation on his ability to care for patients as reasons for surrendering his medical license.
Leslie Herje, assistant U.S. attorney, represented the government in this case. The DEA Milwaukee District Office primarily conducted the investigation, along with the U.S. Attorney’s Office Affirmative Civil Enforcement team.
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