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.
A former priest and teacher at St Colman's in Shepparton has pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting a 13-year-old student in 1970.
Beautiful weather greeted Tungamah residents for the 18th running of the Tungamah Lions Ten Thousand on Sunday.
When Keith and Marion Grumley and their growing family moved to Tatura on January 18, 1968, little did they know that it would be the start of a long and lasting connection to the town.
Echuca Lion Ken Walter has been presented with the International President’s Medal.
Rochester Tigers take on Rochester United today in the Goulburn Murray Cricket Twenty20 match.
Sorting future of Campaspe pools
Two primary school students have been among just 25 in Victoria to be awarded the Prime Ministers NAIDOC Medal.
Local athletes will go head-to-head with some of the best competitors from around the world in swimming and athletics in December.
Pre-schools in Heathcote and Colbinabbin will benefit from grants announced last week.
Moira Shire Council says 36 cents of every dollar spent on staff costs is 'not an unusual number'.
Works on Edward River Beach to Beach Walk to be completed.
Further redundancies at Victoria’s largest rural water corporation, Goulburn-Murray Water, are possible, with more efficiency reviews being carried out.
Rotary's inaugural Community Policing Award goes to Detective Leading Senior Constable Jenny Parker for her work above and beyond her duties working with victims of sexual abuse.
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.