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Pain doctor faces suspension hearing

INDIANAPOLIS – The state attorney general’s office is seeking to suspend the license of a Fort Wayne pain medication specialist who is accused of “inappropriate and dangerous prescribing practices.”

Greg Zoeller’s office filed the emergency suspension before the Indiana Medical Licensing Board on Monday against Dr. William Hedrick of the Centers for Pain Relief in Northern Indiana.

The action was taken after concerns arose over what the attorney general’s office described as the doctor’s unusually high use of pain killer prescriptions and unsafe drug mixing practices.

According to the filing, Hedrick’s prescribing habits “are not medically sound and pose substantial risk to the safety of his patients.”

“Evidence reveals that Dr. Hedrick poses a clear danger to his patients and the public,” said Gabrielle Owens, Deputy Director of the Attorney General’s Licensing Enforcement and Homeowner Protection Unit. “Numerous patients have died from multiple drug toxicity while in his care and these types of aggressive prescription practices are dangerous. The Attorney General’s Office has taken swift action and is confident the Medical Licensing Board will take the appropriate steps to protect patients.”

The board will consider the petition for summary suspension at its next meeting Dec. 6.

Owens said if the suspension is granted, Hedrick could not practice medicine for 90 days while the Attorney General’s Office drafts a formal complaint to submit to the board. In licensing cases, the board has the authority to determine what if any disciplinary action will be taken.