Pasco doctor arrested for operation of unlicensed pain clinic - WFLA News Channel 8

Pasco doctor arrested for operation of unlicensed pain clinic

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Dr. Malcolm Foster was arrested and charged with 12 counts of operatio of an unlicensed pain clinic. Dr. Malcolm Foster was arrested and charged with 12 counts of operatio of an unlicensed pain clinic.
The father of a man who died under Dr Malcolm Foster's care appears at the Pasco Sheriff's press conference. The father of a man who died under Dr Malcolm Foster's care appears at the Pasco Sheriff's press conference.
Pasco Sheriff Chris Nocco holds press conference on arrest of Pasco doctor Malcolm Foster. Pasco Sheriff Chris Nocco holds press conference on arrest of Pasco doctor Malcolm Foster.
NEW PORT RICHEY, FL (WFLA) - Pasco Sheriff Chris Nocco announced Thursday the conclusion of a two-year investigation with the arrest of a local Pasco doctor for 12 counts of operation of an unlicensed pain clinic.

Beginning in 2012, as a result of complaints from local doctors, pharmacists, and former patients, the PSO Vice and Narcotics Unit began an investigation into the medical office of Dr. Malcolm C. Foster, located at 10130 U.S. Highway 19, Port Richey. That investigation revealed over 75 percent of Foster's patients were being prescribed pain medication, including Oxycodone, Soma, and Xanax, according to law enforcement.

Due to Florida's epidemic with rogue pain clinics and the over-prescribing of pills, state lawmakers passed Florida Statute 458.3265 in June 2011, with the purpose of regulating these clinics. The statute requires that any medical doctors who prescribe controlled substance medication for pain to more than 50 percent of their patients must receive specialized training and licensing on behalf of the Florida Department of Health (FL DOH).

The PSO investigation revealed that Foster never registered with the FL DOH, nor received such specialized training. During the PSO criminal investigation, the FL DOH was conducting a separate investigation into Foster's medication practices and for having a sexual relationship with a patient (who was a victim of prior sexual abuse, which was known to Foster). In October 2012, the FL DOH revoked Foster’s medical license for these violations, which he never contested.

PSO detectives executed a search warrant on Foster’s residence in December 2012, and seized more than 1,350 patient files. These files were scattered about the outside rear porch area of his home, and evidence revealed a "burn pit" in the backyard that had charred remains of patient files, according to the detectives.

In February 2013, a patient privacy hearing was held in a Pasco County court to advise former patients that an active criminal investigation into Foster's prescribing habits and patient file analysis would be conducted.

As a result of this analysis, and within the time frame of the pain clinic statute, evidence revealed that over 78 percent of Fosters’ patients received controlled substances for pain. These prescriptions were usually a combination of high dosage amounts, with Oxycodone being the most prescribed. Between July 2011 through June 2012, Foster wrote over 688,000 dosage units (pills) of pain medication to patients.

Additional investigation by PSO detectives into Foster’s prescribing habits were reviewed by a medical expert who concluded that he provided inadequate care to his patients by prescribing large amounts of benzodiazepines and opiates, which put the patients at risk for addiction and overdose, which could result in death.

PSO Detective Gary Souto, working in conjunction with the Florida Office of Statewide Prosecution, completed an arrest affidavit for Foster for 12 Counts of Operation of an Unregistered Pain Clinic, which was signed yesterday by a Pasco judge. Foster was arrested shortly thereafter during a traffic stop in the area of State Road 52 and U.S. 19 in Port Richey. His bond was set at $60,000.

Detective Souto and The Office of Statewide Prosecution continue to investigate Foster for several death investigations related to his overprescribing and future criminal charges are possible.

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