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Doctor accused of prescribing 50,000 opioid pills to one patient allowed to practise again

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan

A Nova Scotia doctor who admitted to prescribing thousands of opioid pills for one patient is a step closer to resuming her practice.

Dr. Sarah Jones was charged in the spring of 2016 with possession for the purpose of trafficking, possession of a narcotic, trafficking oxycodone, fraud and drawing a document without authority. She was later acquitted.

The allegations emerged in October 2015, when she was said to have prescribed 50,000 oxycodone and OxyNeo pills over an 18-month period.

READ MORE: Trial for Dr. Sarah Jones in Bridgewater, N.S. adjourns until June

Jones has now reached a settlement agreement with the College of Physicians and Surgeons. Under the terms of the agreement, Jones will not face further suspension.

“We recognize that Jones is a young medical practitioner who has a lot to contribute. As a committee, we think she should have a chance to do that,” the college’s agreement reads.

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WATCH: High profile drug investigation results in ‘not guilty’ verdict for Nova Scotia doctor

High profile drug investigation results in ‘not guilty’ verdict for Nova Scotia doctor
High profile drug investigation results in ‘not guilty’ verdict for Nova Scotia doctor

In the agreement, Jones says she was “in over her head” trying to help a patient control pain. However, the college notes there was no explanation for her making false and misleading statements to the college and the prescription-monitoring program.

READ MORE: Crown withdraws trafficking charges against Nova Scotia doctor

Before returning to practice, Jones will need to complete a competence assessment, undergo counselling, and be assessed by her family doctor.

She will also need to undergo a drug test, and won’t be allowed to prescribe narcotics for at least two years.