Singapore — A doctor is now facing over two dozen charges after it was discovered that he had got into the habit of overprescribing and selling potentially addictive cough medication and for failing to maintain proper medical records of his patients.
Fifty-seven-year-old Jitendra Kumar Sen, a general practitioner, was charged on Thursday (Aug 19).
Nine of the charges concerning his failure to maintain patients’ medical records were tendered by the Ministry of Health. The other 18 charges were tendered by the Health Sciences Authority. These involve Jitendra’s having sold cough syrup with an addictive substance to patients more than once over a period of four days.
The doctor allegedly carried this out on different occasions from 2016 to 2019.
Jitendra’s practice is at The Family Clinic at 101 Towner Road.
The cough syrup he prescribed contained codeine, a potentially addictive opioid whose use is regulated. It is a prescription drug that is also used as a pain killer.
According to the Health Products (Therapeutic Products) Regulations of 2016, qualified doctors who prescribe cough syrups with codeine are not allowed to sell a supply of this type of medicine to patients more than once within a four-day span.
Also, these doctors cannot give more than 240ml of the cough medicine containing codeine to any patient on any occasion and should professionally counsel the patient concerning the use of the medication.
But Jitendra is said to have sold cough medicine containing codeine to 15 people more than once in a period of less than four days on 18 occasions from Nov 2018 to Feb 2019. Two of the people were repeat patients.
The doctor also allegedly neglected to maintain the medical records of eight people. He did not keep a record of their consultations, nor did he keep a record of the amount of cough syrup or codeine they had been given.
This offence is against Private Hospitals and Medical Clinics Regulations.
Jitendra returns to court on Sept 30.
For the offence of failing to keep proper medical records, he may be jailed for as long as one year, fined as much as $2,000, or both, if he is convicted.
And if he is found guilty of failing to keep to the prescribed requirements of codeine, he could go to jail for as long as two years, be fined up to $50,000, or both. /TISG
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