TRENTON - Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal and the New Jersey Coordinator for Addiction Responses and Enforcement Strategies ("NJ CARES") today announced that a licensed Physician Assistant has been permanently barred from prescribing controlled dangerous substances (“CDS”) in the state for improperly prescribing CDS while employed at a pain management center in Monmouth County.
Cherie H. Weiss, who worked at the Premier Pain Center in Shrewsbury, agreed to permanently forfeit her CDS prescribing privileges after admitting she prescribed controlled substances outside the authority of her supervising physicians and failed to properly document prescriptions in patient files.
Weiss’s Physician Assistant (“PA”) license, which permitted her to practice medicine under the supervision of a physician, and her NJ CDS Registration, which allowed her to prescribe controlled substances, were temporarily suspended in 2015 after she was terminated from employment at Premier Pain Center amid allegations of improperly prescribing CDS. Weiss has not been permitted to prescribe CDS or practice since then.
Under a Final Consent Order filed earlier this month, the Division of Consumer Affairs permanently revoked Weiss’s CDS registration and the Board revoked her PA license for a period of at least four years from the July 1, 2015 date it was temporarily suspended. Before the Board grants Weiss any application for reinstatement of her license, she must appear before a Committee of the Board to demonstrate her fitness to resume practice.
“We’re cracking down on medical professionals who recklessly prescribe pain medications,” said Attorney General Grewal. “Our state faces an unprecedented opioid crisis, and we must take swift action against those who fuel addiction in New Jersey.”
“We cannot let our efforts to end New Jersey’s opioid crisis be undermined by medical professionals who recklessly prescribe habit-forming pain medications that can start patients down the dark path to addiction,” said Sharon M. Joyce, Director of NJ CARES. “By revoking this practitioner’s CDS prescribing privileges, the Board has shut down an improper source of these dangerous drugs and advanced our fight to end addiction.”
The Enforcement Bureau of the Division of Consumer Affairs ("EB") conducted an inspection of Weiss’s former medical office. This inspection included a review of patient files and revealed multiple discrepancies regarding CDS prescribing between the patient records and entries in the Prescription Monitoring Program ("PMP"). During a subsequent interview with the EB, Weiss acknowledged her misconduct and provided additional information establishing that she had violated the Board's rules and regulations governing a Physician Assistant, including prescribing CDS outside the authority of her supervising physicians.
“The conduct of this physician assistant raises serious questions about her professional judgment and fitness to practice,” said Paul R. Rodríguez. “The Board and the Division of Consumer Affairs has fulfilled its duty to protect the public by ensuring that Ms. Weiss is permanently barred from dispensing controlled dangerous substances and that her license will not be reinstated until she demonstrates she’s fit to resume practice.”
The Division of Consumer Affairs’ Enforcement Bureau conducted this investigation.
Deputy Attorney General Michelle Mikelberg, of the Division of Law’s Professional Boards Prosecution Section, represented the State in this matter.