Escondido pain clinic doctor, and board-certified physiatrist, Bradley Chesler, M.D., has paid the United States $153,000 to resolve allegations that he overprescribed opioids.
Dr. Chesler is listed as a Qualified Medical Evaluator by the DWC in the specialties of Pain Medicine and Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. His QME office address is 1955 Citracado Pkwy, in Escondido.
This settlement stems from the investigation into whether Dr. Chesler illegally prescribed opioids to his patients in violation of the Controlled Substances Act.
Pursuant to the Controlled Substances Act, doctors may write prescriptions for opioids only for a legitimate medical purpose while acting in the usual course of their professional practice.
Federal investigators alleged that from January 1, 2014 to August 31, 2019, Dr. Chesler wrote opioid prescriptions that violated the Controlled Substances Act, which included prescriptions for fentanyl, hydromorphone, methadone, and oxycodone.
Dr. Chesler allegedly prescribed opioids while he concurrently prescribed benzodiazepines, and he prescribed to some patients a combination of at least one opioid, one benzodiazepine, and one muscle relaxant.
Drug abusers colloquially refer to the opioid, benzodiazepine, and muscle relaxant combination as the “Trinity” because of its rapid euphoric effects. These drug combinations are known to increase the risk of abuse, addiction, and overdose.
Chesler prescribed large quantities of opioids to his patients that reached high daily Morphine Milligram Equivalent (MME) levels (sometimes even exceeding 180 MME). The United States further alleged that Dr. Chesler failed to properly address aberrant urine drug test results when prescribing opioids.
Public health experts have long warned health care providers that overdose risk is elevated in patients receiving medically prescribed opioids, particularly those receiving high dosages. Among other things, tracking MMEs advances better practices for pain management by reinforcing the need for providers to consider alternatives to using high-dosage opioids to treat pain, and to appropriately justify decisions to use opioids at dosages that place patients at high risk of addiction, abuse, and overdose.
DEA Special Agent in Charge John Callery said, “Although 99 percent of medical professionals abide by DEA guidance and federal law, we will investigate those who put illicit profits before their oaths and bring them to justice.”