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Local doctor receives $5,000 fine for improper prescriptions

A Thomson doctor recently admitted to improperly prescribing a series of narcotic prescriptions and administering a narcotic withdrawal program in her home for a patient.

According to a March consent order filed with the Composite State Board of Medical Examiners, Dr. Mary Powell agreed to a series of sanctions over the next five years, including using triplicate prescription forms, improved record keeping, continuing medical education, and a $5,000 fine. The order does not affect Dr. Powell's practicing privileges at the McDuffie Regional Medical Center or her medical office. It also does not affect her ability to write prescriptions.

The consent order said that between March 1995 and July 2002, Dr. Powell prescribed large quantities of Hydrocodone, Oxycodone and other narcotics for a male patient, who became a close personal friend.

"(Dr. Powell's) medical records for (the) patient ... for said period of treatment do not reflect that (Dr. Powell) conducted any physical examinations prior to prescribing these controlled substances or that she ever conducted any tests to evaluate the cause of (the) patient's various complaints of pain or to determine the effectiveness of the various prescriptions used to treat the patient," the board wrote in the consent order.

According to the filing, the treatment of the patient was evaluated by a board appointed consultant, who concluded that Dr. Powell's treatment failed to conform to the minimal standards of acceptable and prevailing medical practice in three ways. First, the care and treatment should have been documented. Second, Dr. Powell should have stopped treating the patient when their relationship became personal. Finally, Dr. Powell should not have conducted the non-documented narcotic withdrawal program in her home.

Dr. Powell declined to comment.

The board's website,, has a search licensee database where the public can search Georgia for orders handed down by the board. A search of the site's database in tandem with local phone listings, showed no other orders against local doctors currently practicing.

Web posted on Thursday, May 27, 2004

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