Fifteen Dead; Doctor's License Suspended

Posted on Oct 16, 2012

Doctor Gary Shearer's Kentucky medical license has been suspended and he has been accused of endangering the safety of all of his patients. Shearer was one of the top five prescribers of Oxycodone in the state and 15 of his patients overdosed and died while in his care. 

State officials starting investigating Dr. Shearer after they learned in November of last year that some of his Oxycodone prescriptions were for residents in eastern and central Kentucky while his practice was in Florence. An electronic prescription-tracking system was used by the state attorney general to identify patients and doctors who may be abusing drugs. 

In its emergency order of suspension the Kentucky Board of Medical Licensure said "[Shearer's] failure to comply with acceptable and prevailing practices in the treatment and monitoring of patients prescribed controlled substances, and fraudulent and unethical behavior, demonstrates that [Shearer] has not exhibited the ability to practice medicine safely." 

A medical board consultant said that Shearer failed to follow up when drug tests he had ordered on patients showed they were taking narcotics in addition to what he prescribed. He also didn't check their history of prescription drug abuse on the state's tracking system, Kentucky All Schedule Prescription Electronic Reporting (KASPER). The consultant wrote, "Those patients were still given a prescription for narcotics without being closely monitored. These patients are at a very high risk for narcotic overdose." 

Shearer blamed his lack of follow up on his office staff, saying that they didn't tell him that patients were testing positive for narcotics and that they didn't run KASPER reports. 

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Matthew L. White
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Founder & Partner of Louisville Personal Injury Law Firm Gray & White Law