CHICAGO (AP) — Illinois regulators have yanked a suburban Chicago doctor's license for running a cash-only pill mill and prescribing vast amounts of fentanyl and other addictive painkillers to patients in 11 states.
Illinois is sharing information about Dr. Paul C. Madison with Indiana, where he has an office. Michigan barred Madison from practicing last year.
Madison prescribed 1.6 million doses of controlled substances in 2015 and 2016, according to paperwork signed Tuesday by Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation Acting Director Jessica Baer. His patients lived in Illinois, California, Florida, Iowa, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Wisconsin.
Madison ran a clinic in Riverside, Illinois, that has drawn suspicion for years, the document states. Pharmacists were refusing to fill Madison's prescriptions because of the large quantities and patients' behavior.
Joseph Giacchino, a former doctor whose license was revoked in 2011, acted as office manager at the Riverside clinic. In October, Illinois pulled the license of another doctor at the same clinic, William McMahon, also for improper prescribing.
Madison has not responded to The Associated Press' voicemails and emails seeking comment on the allegations.
Regulators say Madison prescribed hydrocodone, oxycodone and other powerful opioids. One patient told investigators Madison did no examination, seemed confused and would call the patient "by the wrong name or referenced the wrong complaint." The mother of a patient with a history of drug addiction told investigators Madison prescribed her child an extremely large amount of painkillers.
Madison is Illinois' top prescriber of a fentanyl spray called Subsys and is a key figure in an Illinois lawsuit against the Arizona-based drug manufacturer, Insys Therapeutics. The company, which is facing a federal investigation over its marketing practices, did not respond to the AP's request for comment.
The Illinois attorney general's office says Madison was paid $1,600 for speaking events attended only by Insys Therapeutics sales reps and that he wrote approximately 58 percent of the Subsys prescriptions in the state. A sales rep complained about Madison's prescribing to Insys supervisors reporting that he "runs a very shady pill mill and accepts only cash," according to the suspension paperwork.
Madison still faces a 2012 federal indictment for allegedly billing insurers for nearly $3.6 million in procedures he didn't perform. In that case, federal prosecutors say Madison, as the owner of Watertower SurgiCenter on Chicago's Michigan Avenue, submitted false bills to insurers for chiropractors performing adjustments on patients who had been anesthetized.
Follow AP Medical Writer Carla K. Johnson on Twitter at https://twitter.com/CarlaKJohnson