– A Haddon Heights-based physician
must cease practice after the close of business
today, after the state Board of Medical
Examiners concurred with a court ruling
that the physician indiscriminately prescribed
painkillers to patients and failed to maintain
proper patient records.
M. Fleming, M.D., prescribed controlled
dangerous substances, including Oxycontin,
Percocet, Actiq and Duregesic, without performing
examinations or assessments of at least
Board of Medical Examiners, which licenses
approximately 33,000 physicians practicing
in New Jersey, ordered that Fleming’s
license be suspended for five years, with
the first two years an active suspension
and the balance a period of probation during
which Fleming may resume the practice of
medicine. The Board also assessed him $105,000
in civil penalties and $78,388.41 in reimbursement
to the state for its costs in this matter.
Fleming put patients under his care at needless
risk,” Attorney General Paula T, Dow
said. “The abuse of painkillers is
a well-documented problem and Dr. Fleming,
by his own admission, prescribed large quantities
of these drugs without even seeing one of
Board filed a Complaint against Dr. Fleming
in late 2007 and an Administrative Law Judge
held a five-day hearing in July 2009 because
the matter was contested. The judge issued
his ruling this February, with the Board
of Medical Examiners having the authority
to revise the ruling or accept it without
judge recommended $295,000 in monetary penalties
against Dr. Fleming but the Board reduced
the amount, based on his financial ability
possible reinstatement to practice medicine,
the Board ordered that Dr. Fleming appear
before a committee of the Board to demonstrate
his fitness and competence. He also must
have completed Board-approved courses in
prescribing controlled dangerous substances
and record keeping.
Board has acted to protect the public. Dr.
Fleming’s actions constituted a blatant
deviation from accepted standards of care.
Frankly, his actions showed little, if any,
care for his patients or for upholding the
values of his profession,” said Thomas
R. Calcagni, Acting Director of the Division
of Consumer Affairs.
Attorney General Jeri Warhaftig handled
this matter before the Board of Medical
Examiners and Deputy Attorney General David
Puteska represented the Board before the
Administrative Law Judge.