Kamsack doctor charged with professional misconduct for mishandling opioid prescriptions

Prescription pills containing oxycodone and acetaminophen, two types of opioids, are shown in this June 20, 2012 photo.
Prescription pills containing oxycodone and acetaminophen, two types of opioids, are shown in this June 20, 2012 photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy

The alleged mishandling of opioid prescriptions has resulted in a Kamsack-area doctor being charged with unprofessional conduct by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Saskatchewan (CPSS).

Dr. Murray Davies was charged on March 17. In addition to the prescription related charges, Davies faces another unprofessional conduct charge for failure to keep records that meet the college standards.

Kamsack is about 80 kilometres northeast of Yorkton, near the Manitoba border.

CPSS presented 20 pieces of evidence to back up the prescription charge. This includes continuing to prescribe opioids after being advised patients had received prescriptions in the same drug classification from another prescriber, and prescribing Prescription Review Program Medications (PRP) to patients without an appropriate assessment for substance abuse disorder.

The college also said Davies lost the ability to prescribe methadone in 2014. After this ability was removed, they say Davies continued to prescribe Kadian in a manner that failed to meet the standards of the medical profession.

Story continues below advertisement

Kadian is an extended-release morphine sulfate capsule according to the manufacturer. Morphine is another type of opioid pain killer.

In 2013, APTN (Aboriginal Peoples Television Network) Investigates, broke the story that lead to Davies having his methadone prescribing abilities revoked by Health Canada. In APTN’s investigation, they spoke with patients of Davies who claimed they were over-prescribed opioids. Those patients say they were then put into Davies’ methadone program.

READ MORE: Kamsack doctor exposed by APTN Investigates shut down by Health Canada

In the college’s case, they say that Davies also prescribed PRP drugs to patients who had been or are in methadone treatment for opioid abuse.

Health Minister Jim Reiter described the situation as concerning.

“We’re very concerned. Obviously opioids are a huge issue across the country right now, so when you hear those sorts of things it’s troubling, but disciplinary matters like this are handled by the College of Physicians and Surgeons. We have faith in that practice, they’ve served us well for many years,” he said.

A representative with CPSS said that a date for Davies’ hearing has not yet been set, and will be dependent on whether or not he denies or admits to part or all of the allegations against him, or whether a joint recommendation is sought.

Global News reached out Davies for comment, but has yet to hear a response. ​

Story continues below advertisement

With files from APTN Investigates’ Melissa Ridgen

Sponsored content