Intended for healthcare professionals


Seven doctors accused of over-prescribing heroin

BMJ 2004; 328 doi: (Published 26 February 2004) Cite this as: BMJ 2004;328:483

Diamorphine prescribing is in charges.

Dr Barnard,

Diamorphine prescribing is mentioned in several of the charges. For
example, the first head of accusation against Dr Brewer says:
"Between 31 May 1990 and April 2003 you and other doctors prescribing at
the Centre issued to Mr RF prescriptions for Methadone mixture, Methadone
tablets and Methadone ampoules, Morphine Sulphate Continus, Dexedrine,
Diamorphine, Paperevetum, Oromorph, tincture of Opium, Dihydrocodeine,
Diazepam, Temazepam, Rohypnol, Nitrazepam, Sevredol, Omnopon, and Palfium
variously, on numerous occasions. Details of such prescribing are set out
in schedule A attached."

Also, I was unaware that I had said the case was about methadone
maintenance. My introduction reads:
"Seven drug addiction specialists were accused by the General Medical
Council this week of excessive prescribing of heroin and other drugs, and
inadequate surveillance of patients."

I would never wish to prejudge any GMC case. If it seems to any
readers that I personally credit or reject any of the accusations, please
put it down to bad writing.

Competing interests:
I wrote this news article.

Competing interests: No competing interests

01 March 2004
Owen Dyer
BMJ news reporter