Friday, February 17, 2012

Board suspends license of doctor at raided Lexington pain clinic

DEA agent enters building housing clinic
(Herald-Leader photo by Charles Bertram)

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The Kentucky Board of Medical Licensure imposed an emergency suspension yesterday on the license of the doctor at a Lexington pain clinic that was raided by the Drug Enforcement Administration on Wednesday.

Dr. Najam Azmat "had little formal training in pain management or primary care, yet he was paid $7,500 a week to write prescriptions for powerful narcotic painkillers" at Lexington Algiatry, a pain clinic on Alexandria Drive, the Lexington Herald-Leader reports, drawing on board documents. The board's order said, "Azmat organized his practice at the Lexington Algiatry Clinic to maximize fraud and abuse, and it appears to be intentional."

The board "acted on an investigation that's been going on for some time," President Preston Nunnelley told the Herald-Leader. Azmat referred the newspaper to his lawyer, Fox DeMoisey of Louisville, who said he could not respond because he had not seen the board's allegations or the DEA's search warrant. "He intends to defend the matter vigorously," DeMoisey told the paper.

Azmat told a board investigator that he was employed by Warren Gold of Tampa, Fla., who owns Lexington Algiatry, for $7,500 a week. Valarie Honeycutt Spears and Josh Kegley of the Herald-Leader report, "Gold provided him with an apartment in Lexington, and Azmat traveled between Lexington and Georgia, where his family lives, organizing his work schedule around his flight schedule, the documents said." (Read more)

UPDATE, Feb. 18: A representative of the clinic "filed to do business under a new name," Kegley reports.

His latest story has more background on Gold, left, who pleaded no contest in Tampa to operating a pain clinic without a license, which at the time (2010) was required only by a local ordinance. His probation ended Dec. 23. He does not have a medical license in Florida or Kentucky, Kegley reports.

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