A respected Echuca GP has pleaded guilty to illegally prescribing drugs of dependence.IVY WISE April 2, 2014 3:59pm
A long-time Echuca GP who faces more than $30,000 in fines for illegally prescribing painkillers has blamed inadequate practices for his actions.
Doctor John Quayle, 57, pleaded guilty in Echuca Magistrates Court yesterday to 25 charges relating to breaches of the Drugs, Poisons and Controlled Substances Act.
They include 494 instances of illegally prescribing drugs of dependence, including morphine, oxycodone, methadone, buprenorphine, fentanyl and dexamphetamine, between March 2011 and June 2013.
Dr Quayle is joint-owner of Rich River Health Group, where he has worked for 15 years.
Russell Kennedy Lawyers principal Ben Lloyd, acting on behalf of Department of Health Drugs and Poisons Regulation Group, said most offences related to prescribing drugs for periods or quantities beyond those specified in a permit and to a patient believed to be drug dependent.
More serious offences included one count of prescribing methadone without a permit and 12 of prescribing dexamphetamine without a permit.
Mr Lloyd said Dr Quayle’s actions were of concern because of the large number of instances and patients and the high quantities.
‘‘This indicates he has not made appropriate efforts to monitor the quantities prescribed to patients and has prescribed without reference to the amounts he has previously prescribed,’’ he said.
Leading barrister Sean Cash said Dr Quayle had not intentionally breached the regulations and his failure to apply for permits was mainly caused by his usual practice of waiting until the patient’s next consultation.
‘‘The patient would more often than not return to see him before the last script was exhausted,’’ Mr Cash said.
Dr Quayle was a highly regarded and respected GP who had made a huge contribution to rural medicine and the Echuca-Moama community, Mr Cash said.
‘‘This is an extraordinarily embarrassing experience for him,’’ he said.
‘‘He is really throwing himself at the mercy of the court.’’
Magistrate Richard Wright fined Dr Quayle $24,000, but did not record a conviction.
Dr Quayle also had to pay a $10,000 cost order and $110.40 in court costs.
Leukaemia diagnosis for Shepparton boy Travis Lamont, 17, hits his family hard.
Yarrawonga Football Netball Club senior footballer Jeremy O’Brien celebrated his 200th senior Ovens and Murray Football Netball League game against the Wodonga Bulldogs on Saturday.
The trip to Deakin Reserve pitted the fourth-placed Bulldogs up against sixth-placed Demons in a vital match to consolidate a finals berth.
Wemba Wemba, Ngandjon-jji and Yorta Yorta man Clayton Murray-Mitchell is planning a two-day festival in Moama featuring Archie Roach and Kevin Kropinyeri.
Sergeant Dale Simm of Rochester police is warning the public to be wary of phone calls offering all sorts of great prizes.
100 days at Tongala Primary.
Mark Grainger cannot believe his luck after suffering a heart attack on the day a new drug was approved to be administered by paramedics.
A man who attempted, but failed miserebly, to rob the Tocumwal Pie Shed is still on the run from police.
District residents judge the top releases from the Heathcote wine region during the second annual Heathcote Wine Show on the weekend.
A sporting precinct has emerged as the main driver behind merger of Cobram and Victory soccer clubs.
A top-three finish is on the cards for the Deni Rovers after they knocked off Jerilderie on Saturday.
Innovative irrigators are being encouraged to apply for a 2014 Rural Water Award and the chance to win a $2000 cash prize.
Three Benalla residents are speaking up to bring the issue of youth homelessness into the spotlight.
Discover unbelievable local deals from local businesses every week in the Goulburn and Murray Valley area with Leapon.com.au!
Search properties for sale or rent across North Central Victoria and Southern NSW. Visit your local website for local homes....
Search for published and unpublished photos from McPherson Media Group newspapers and magazines. All our photos are available to purchase.
Place an advertisement in any one of McPherson Media Group's local newspapers.