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.
Shepparton Swans and Benalla both had altered coaching panels for the Goulburn Valley Football League grand final rematch on Saturday.
The Mulwala Lions had satisfying and hard fought win, in difficult conditions, against last year’s grand finalists at Lonsdale Reserve on Saturday.
The second annual Bonnie and Clyde Rods, Rats and Rides Festival fired up at Tatura Park at the weekend (April 11-12), drawing thousands of petrol heads and rockabilly music lovers to Tatura.
As part of Lyme Disease Awareness Month in May, the Riverine Herald will shed light on the debilitating, yet controversial, illness through the eyes of those fighting it.
Lockington Vintage Tractor and Stationary Engine Rally is on for the 18th time this weekend and there is something for everyone.
Kyabram and District Sportstar of the Year nominations finalised
Three local clubs get together at Kings Park.
Tributes flow for Finley's inspiring mother, friend and farming advocate Jennifer Hawkins
A visit by Coliban Water to Heathcote last week provided residents with a chance to quiz staff about water and sewer services.
A new book, Men from the River Bends, honours Cobram-Barooga and district soldiers who paid the ultimate sacrifice after enlisting in World War 1.
Deniliquin bowler Dennis O'Keefe lost 25-19 in his bid for a quarter-final spot in the Victorian Singles Championships this week.
Widespread rain late last week and on Saturday put a smile on the faces of farmers preparing to sow crops or waiting for weeds to emerge on early-sown rye-grass.
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.