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Northstate doctor still practicing while under review for opioid related accusations

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CITY OF SHASTA LAKE, Calif. - A City of Shasta Lake Family Medicine doctor has been under review by the state medical board for over a year due to his poor record keeping and over prescribing among other accusations.

In September and December of 2016, the Director of the California Medical Board compiled all complaints and audits against Dr. Harold Budhram and presented them in a list of accusations that included nearly a dozen patients and 19 causes for discipline.

Among the complaints were issues of over prescribing. The document reads in one instance "...there is no justification for this large amount of medication."

Dr. Budhram is also accused of failure to test for illicit drugs in his patients and instances of testing and not addressing concerns. In the records, one patient's drug screen showed drugs that Dr. Budhram had not prescribed the patient as well as no trace of the drugs he did prescribe and still, the report reads, Dr. Budhram did not address the issue.

The report also said he prescribed drugs to patients without documenting a diagnosis and he failed to note that he wrote a prescription.

An audit in 2012 by the Department of Health Services showed that there was a "lack of protocols" and "lack of physician co-signatures" particularly on drugs with higher potential for abuse, like painkillers and opioids.

One patient reported a history of heroin and alcohol addiction to Dr. Budhram but was still prescribed medications that weren't appropriate.

In another situation it reads, "The prescriptions were filled by the patient at multiple pharmacies and yet respondent [Dr. Budhram] seems unaware of the extra doses of this medication."

When family members of his patients complained, according to the documents, their multiple phone calls were ignored and investigators say the office did not document the calls.

Nowhere in the documents does it mention a patient dying under the care of Dr. Budhram.

The report concludes with the director of the state medical board recommending that Dr. Budhram's license be revoked.

The Medical Board says he is still allowed to practice until this is settled. He will be in Sacramento for a pre-hearing in February. If needed, an administrative hearing will follow. If the board does not decide in Dr. Budhram's favor he has 30 days to petition the board for reconsideration.

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