Oregon House doctor accused of doling out pain pills
A doctor with offices in Oregon House and Chico could lose his license to practice medicine after an investigation by the California Medical Board found repeated instances of improperly dispensing prescription medication.
Thomas Neuschatz, whose license lists his address as a post office box in Oregon House, was named in a May 23 accusation that runs 60 pages.
Neuschatz had no comment Friday.
According to the accusation, beginning in April 2008, Neuschatz treated a man identified as WG out of his Oregon House office, where the man told board investigators he had gone because he had heard it was easy to get medication from Neuschatz.
The patient told Neuschatz he had a sore back, but was never formally examined and had no pre-existing medical conditions, according to the accusation.
Neuschatz gave WG a prescription for painkillers Soma and Norco, then gave the man more Norco when he requested it later, the accusation states.
"WG admitted calling respondent's office and requesting a replacement for prescriptions he had 'lost,'" the accusation states. "These replacement prescriptions were called into the pharmacy without question. This continued for about two years."
Toward the end of his treatment with Neuschatz in May 2009, WG received a prescription for Percoset, another painkiller, and began taking eight pills of it every two hours, ultimately leading to him overdosing and waking up in a hospital two days later.
"Respondent failed to periodically review the progress of WG's treatment and make adjustments to treatment accordingly," the report states. "Instead, respondent simply increased dosages of opiate medications in spite of the evidence that WG was becoming socially and psychologically impaired due to the abuse of the medications."
Other portions of the accusation report suggest Neuschatz's prescriptions led to even worse outcomes.
In January 2010, according to the accusation, a man living in Chico died of an apparent overdose, and the only medications found near his body was a bottle of methadone prescribed by Neuschatz, who'd been prescribing the man several different medications over the previous year.
Neuschatz had a pain management clinic in Chico at the time, according to the accusation.
In all, the accusation lists 12 patients who either died or suffered adverse personal or medical effects as a result of Neuschatz's prescription practices.
It's not clear in all cases where the patients lived or where they received treatment from Neuschatz, though in several cases Butte County and Chico are described.