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

In reply to Several Inaccuracies


The fact is that the allegations are that dia-morphine had allegedly
prescribed by some of the stapleford doctors without having a licence to
so and the dates of prescribing and patients initials was stated as

I agree with you, that it is not about maintenance of methadone MMT.
I think it is mainly the combinations of drugs to a few certain patients,
however, this was over a decade or more.

To put things in context, since a car accident my wife has been given
6 types
of different drugs, anti-inflammatory and pain killers ranging from
Paracetomol through to Subutex and on till Dyhidrocodein and a certain
anti-inflammatory, after being given many types to try..
So in a short space of time my wife had somewhere up to 12 different
types of
drugs before anything was found to work for her.
The Subutex, gave her a raging headache. The others just did not work.

The allegation that G.P's were not informed is one such charge which
surprised me, however, as far as supervision is concerned, the stapleford
has ever since I have visited it, been methodical with regards Test Dose's
the start, 1 maybe 2 are taken plus hair test approximately every 2 months
or so.

One thing is for sure, the Stapleford has 'saved many lives'
has 'stablished many lives', I fail to see that this is not a clear fact
of the situation.

Irresponsibly large doses ; I really cannot see how anyone can say
'large-dose', surely it is 'relative', large dose to one person is a small
dose to another.
The only way large-dose can be said, is if you compare it with something.

Therefore, if you are saying large-dose's compared to that given by
Statue/Voluntary community based drug agencies then yes they are
'large-doses' or on the other hand, the community based drug agencies are
giving 'small-doses.

We must except innocence until guilt is proven.
Ian Harris (Mr.)
Tel: 0208 595 4375

Competing interests:
None declared

Competing interests: No competing interests

28 February 2004
Ian Harris