Crime & Justice

Arkansas medical board suspends license of anesthesiologist accused of running 'pill mill' in Anchorage

The Arkansas State Medical Board has issued an emergency suspension of Dr. Mahmood Ahmad's license to practice medicine there, based on allegations in Alaska that the anesthesiologist prescribed potentially deadly amounts of controlled substances to patients.

The May 19 disciplinary order in Arkansas comes on the heels of a decision by the Alaska State Medical Board to suspend Ahmad's license in Alaska, a move that Ahmad is currently challenging in an administrative hearing in the Atwood Building in downtown Anchorage that began Thursday.

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The Arkansas board found that Ahmad's actions as described in Alaska "exhibit a danger" to the public, according to the disciplinary order.

The Arkansas board attached the Alaska suspension order and supporting documents with its decision.

The Arkansas board said Ahmad is charged with violating provisions of the Medical Practices Act and failing to follow professional standards by prescribing painkillers not associated with malignancy or terminal illness for more than six months without keeping proper records or monitoring patients. Ahmad also allegedly prescribed or administered controlled drugs to a person he knew was using them for non-therapeutic purposes.

Among the allegations raised against Ahmad in Alaska is that he travels to the state from his home in Arkansas only a few days a month to see patients and write prescriptions for high doses and high volumes of painkillers, providing vague diagnoses based on little information.

The Arkansas medical board's supporting documents include reviews of some of Ahmad's clients and prescriptions by Dr. Brett Stacey, the medical director of the University of Washington Center for Pain Relief and an expert witness for Alaska in the Anchorage hearing. Stacey has said Ahmad's prescriptions are potentially lethal.

Ahmad's United Pain Care is located in a medical building on Lake Otis Parkway. United Pain Care also has a location in Sherwood, Arkansas.

The Arkansas board will conduct a hearing Aug. 4 at 9 a.m. to determine if Ahmad violated state law there and if his license should be revoked in that state.