NEWARK, NJ – State Attorney General Christopher S. Porrino and the NJ Division of Consumer Affairs announced Thursday that sanctions have been made against 31 physicians who allegedly over-prescribed painkillers and other narcotics that can lead to addiction.
According to a news release from Porrino's office, under the push to rein in problem prescribers, an unprecedented number of doctors saw their practicing authority revoked, suspended or otherwise restricted for allegedly putting the public at risk by indiscriminately prescribing controlled dangerous substances (CDS) that can pave the way to addiction.
“When four out of five new heroin users are getting their start by abusing prescription drugs, you have to attack the problem at ground zero - in irresponsibly run doctors’ offices,” said Porrino. “Physicians who grant easy access to the drugs that are turning New Jersey residents into addicts can be every bit as dangerous as street-corner dealers. Purging the medical community of over-prescribers is as important to our cause as busting heroin rings and locking up drug kingpins.”
The discipline measures sought by Porrino were carried out by the State Board of Medical Examiners within the Division of Consumer Affairs.
The 2016 actions filed with the Board resulted in eight license revocations, five long-term suspensions, and one voluntary retirement that settled allegations against 14 doctors, including:
- Dr. Mohamed Kawam Jabakji, known as “Dr. Kawam,” who practiced in Prospect Park.
- Dr. Kenneth Lewandowski, who owned a pain management center in Red Bank.
Temporary license suspensions and other cessations of practice and/or prescribing privileges were obtained for another 17 doctors, pending the outcome of allegations against them, including:
- Dr. James Cowan, Jr., a psychiatrist who practiced from a home office in Ridgewood.
- Vivienne Matalon, a family physician who maintains offices in Cherry Hill and Camden.
- George Beecher of Warren: Temporary suspension pending disposition of criminal charges.
- Andrew Stoveken of Edison: Temporary suspension pending disposition of criminal charges.
- Anthony Greenberg of Newton: Temporary suspension.
- James Morales of Toms River: Temporary suspension pending disposition of criminal charges.
- Amgad Hessein of South Orange: Revoked medical license, imposed $130,000 penalty and costs in the amount of $308,749.53.
- Frank Campione of Brick: Temporary suspension of license and CDS registration.
- Mohamed Kawam Jabakji of Prospect Park: Revocation of medical license, 3 year bar on reapplication. Permanent CDS Registration revocation. Penalty - $110,000; Costs – $57,702.32.
- Kenneth Lewandowski of Red Bank: Imposed permanent revocation of license and CDS registration.
- Vasili Moschowitz of Barnegat: Temporary suspension, then permanent revocation of medical license and penalty of $100,000 (stayed) filed on Dec. 23, 2016.
- Jason D’Amico of Totowa: Surrender license pending resolution of criminal charges.
- Jay Rosen of Oradell: Retirement of license and CDS registration to be deemed a revocation.
- Ronald Scott of Freehold: Permanent revocation
- James Cowan of Ridgewood: Temporary suspension of medical license and CDS Registration.
- William Wolfe of Voorhees: Temporary suspension of medical license and CDS Registration.
- Byung Kang of Little Falls: Temporary suspension of Medical License and CDS Registration pending outcome of criminal matter.
- Michael Rutigliano of Paramus: Temporary suspension.
- John McGee of Bayonne: Suspension of medical license for 5 years, with 364 days as an active suspension; Permanent cessation of prescribing of HGH and CDS; costs in the amount of $25,000; penalty in the amount of $50,000.
- Herbert Rudolph of Manahawkin: Suspension of 5 years, 2 years active; $35,000 in penalties; $20,000 in costs.
- Jane Dateshidze of Medford: Temporary Suspension of Pharmacy License.
- Darius Jasinski of Pequannock: Imposed a 3-year suspension, 18 months active, and $50,000 in costs.
- Steven Forman of Clementon: Imposed a 5 year suspension, 2 years active; $30,000 penalty; $10,000 costs.
- Vivienne Matalon of Cherry Hill and Camden: Temporary suspension of medical license and CDS registration.
- Alexis Corazon of Paterson: Voluntary cessation of practice and prescribing all medications. Respondent will undergo full evaluation and assessment prior to resuming practice.
- Thomas Newmark of Cherry Hill: Permanent revocation.
- David Lee: Permanent retirement.
- Chowdhury Azam of Edison: 5-year suspension, permanent ban of some CDS prescribing; costs – pending.
- James Ludden of Red Bank: Temporary suspension for both medical license and CDS registration.
- Ronald Intellisano of Gloucester Township: Imposed 5 year suspension; Costs - $15,000.
- Manoj Pathakar of Edison: Permanent revocation of both medical license and NJ CDS registration.
- Kenneth Sun of Phillipsburg: Temporary suspension of medical license.
Doctors were not the only professionals sanctioned for alleged CDS violations last year. Six other licensed professionals - a physician’s assistant, a chiropractor, a pharmacist, a pharmacy technician, social worker and a hearing aid dispenser – were also disciplined for alleged improper prescription, distribution, or diversion of narcotics. Additionally, the Division terminated a printing company’s authority to print prescription blanks for physicians after finding the company failed to follow security requirements and issued 25,000 blanks to unauthorized individuals.