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Oklahoma Medical Board suspends and fines Midwest City and Oklahoma City doctors


The Oklahoma Medical Board found a Midwest City doctor guilty this week of a pattern of overprescribing controlled substances that resulted in the deaths of two patients.

The suspension was one of two actions the board took against doctors at a meeting Thursday.

The board found Dr. Dwayne Lewis Roush guilty of several violations, including overprescribing narcotics. The board suspended Roush's license for six months and fined him $10,000.

Investigators began looking into Roush's Midwest City medical practice in 2015, after a pharmacist called the board office to report concerns about high doses of Alprazolam, an anti-anxiety drug, that Roush was prescribing. The pharmacist told the board that Roush's patients often received early refills for the medication.

Investigators found that several of Roush's patients showed signs of so-called doctor shopping behavior, in which patients go from one doctor to the next seeking prescriptions. One patient received prescriptions for controlled substances from 46 doctors in 40 months, investigators found.

Roush's overprescribing resulted in at least two overdose deaths, investigators found.

Also during Thursday's meeting, the board found Dr. James Ferris, of Oklahoma City, guilty of seven violations, including writing fraudulent prescriptions and abetting the practice of medicine by an unlicensed person. Board members voted to suspend Ferris' license for one month and fine him $5,000.

Ferris is the medical director for Physicians at Home, an Oklahoma City-based company that sends doctors to see patients who can't leave their homes for doctor's appointments. He also keeps Monday office hours at a clinic in Wellston.

During Thursday's meeting, investigators from the state medical board and the Oklahoma State Board of Pharmacy told board members that in 2015, Ferris designated Kathy Dossey, owner of a pharmacy in the same building as Ferris' Wellston clinic, as his appointed agent, allowing her to fill out prescription forms for his patients, including those needing Schedule II narcotics. Those blanks still required Ferris' signature before being filled.

Because Ferris spent most of his time making house calls, that arrangement often left Dossey scrambling to track him down on the road so he could sign prescriptions. Eventually, Dossey asked him to leave her with pre-signed prescription blanks that she could use rather than needing to leave the pharmacy to find him.

Dossey told the board she didn't think there was anything wrong with the arrangement until another pharmacist told her he was concerned about it. Dossey called the state pharmacy board to ask for an opinion. Investigators from the pharmacy and medical boards went to the pharmacy, seized about 100 pre-signed prescription blanks and told Dossey to stop using the pre-signed blanks.

During Thursday's meeting, Ferris admitted to giving pre-signed prescription blanks to Dossey, but said it was done in the interest of his patients.

"I apologize quite readily and I'm very truly sorry," Ferris told the board.

Silas Allen

Silas Allen is a news reporter for The Oklahoman. He is a Missouri native and a 2008 graduate of the University of Missouri. Read more ›