Westbrook doctor reprimanded for improperly prescribing narcotics

Posted Dec. 04, 2012, at 3:20 p.m.

WESTBROOK, Maine – A Westbrook physician has been reprimanded by a state licensing board for improperly prescribing controlled drugs to patients.

Catherine Lockwood accepted the reprimand under a Nov. 13 consent agreement with the Maine Board of Licensure in Medicine. She is limited to prescribing controlled substances for no more than 10 consecutive days to treat acute conditions.

In September 2011, a physician assistant contacted the board because he was concerned about Lockwood’s prescribing of narcotics and benzodiazepines, a class of drugs used to treat anxiety disorders, to a patient, according to the consent agreement. The physician assistant said the patient appeared to be suffering from medication toxicity, a buildup of medication in the bloodstream.

Lockwood told the board that the patient never showed symptoms of medication toxicity, with the exception of one incident in which the patient was taken to the hospital by ambulance for dehydration and lightheadedness, the consent agreement states.

In February, the Maine attorney general’s office and Maine Drug Enforcement Agency submitted information to the board involving Lockwood’s prescribing of controlled drugs to another patient.

In April, Lockwood told the board that she was no longer practicing primary care medicine and had moved on to an urgent care facility where she wouldn’t need to prescribe controlled drugs for the treatment of chronic pain.

According to the board’s licensing database, Lockwood practices at Mercy Express Care in Westbrook. She formerly practiced in Richmond.

During its review, the board “noted that while Dr. Lockwood appeared to care about the pain that her patients suffered,” she ended treatment involving the use of multiple medications “without having a sufficient plan in place,” the consent agreement states.

Lockwood also sometimes increased dosages of controlled drugs despite her plans to decrease the amounts, did not consistently perform pill counts, at times failed to conduct urine drug screens, failed to stop controlled substance prescriptions when patients tested positive for marijuana and didn’t keep adequate records of physical exams, according to the consent agreement.

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