BOSTON – A Newburyport doctor has agreed to resolve allegations that he inappropriately prescribed controlled opioid substances outside of the regular course of his professional practice.
Guido Navarra, MD, an internist practicing in Newburyport, agreed to pay $ 12,500 to resolve allegations that he violated the civil remedies provisions of the Controlled Substances Act.
“Preventing the illegal prescribing of drugs is essential for patient safety, especially during an opioid epidemic,” said Acting United States Attorney Nathaniel R. Mendell. “This regulation is an example of how our office and the DEA are working to ensure that doctors prescribe dangerous drugs only when they are legally authorized to do so. We appreciate Dr. Navarra’s cooperation in the government’s investigation and the prompt resolution of the complaints against him.
“The DEA is committed to ensuring that all registrants comply with the required regulations, which are enforced through the Controlled Substances Act,” said Special Agent in Charge Brian D. Boyle of the Drug Enforcement Administration, Boston. Division. “Failure to do so increases the potential for diversion and jeopardizes public health and safety. The DEA is committed to working with our law enforcement and regulatory partners to ensure compliance with these rules and regulations. “
According to the settlement agreement, on two occasions, Dr. Navarra prescribed controlled opioid substances to patients outside of his professional practice. In one case, a urine drug test revealed that the patient was taking controlled substances that Dr. Navarra had not prescribed. Dr. Navarra continued to prescribe controlled substances to this patient despite the patient’s positive test result, a basis for leaving practice.
In another case, a patient requested an early renewal of a prescription for a controlled substance based on the patient’s claim that the police seized the prescribed drug from her home. Dr. Navarra continued to prescribe controlled substances to this patient for several months despite the patient’s inability to substantiate this claim. A urine test finally revealed the use of illicit drugs by this patient. In both cases, Dr. Navarra prescribed controlled opioid substances outside of the usual course of his professional practice.
Acting U.S. Attorney Mendell and DEA SAC Boyle made the announcement today. Assistant U.S. Attorney Evan Panich of the Mendell Affirmative Civil Enforcement Unit handled the case.