State wants to suspend doctors’ licenses following 12 patient deaths

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The Indiana Attorney General’s office is calling for the suspension of the medical licenses of two doctors who operate medical centers in Kokomo and Burlington.

Dr. Don Wagoner and Dr. Marilyn Wagoner were named in a petition filed by the Attorney General’s office Monday.

The petition alleges the doctors had some part in the deaths of at least 12 patients by prescribing them powerful drugs they shouldn’t have.

One patient “…was prescribed opiates… despite the presence of numerous risk factors for opioid dependence…” Then the petition claimed, “A Klonopin treatment began… despite past history for abuse… and multiple phone calls from Patient E’s psychiatric center to stop…” The patient eventually “… died of poly-pharmacy overdose…” and a toxicology report “…shows the presence of Xanax, methadone, Klonopin, fentanyl, oxycodone, buprenophine.”

“The concern here is that patients were not fully evaluated or appropriately evaluated to determine whether they were appropriate patients for receiving opiates for chronic pain management purposes,” said Deputy Attorney General Jessica Krug.

Fox 59 went to both clinics seeking comment, but was not given one.

Krug said the State’s Medical Licensing Board is expected to hear the case on March 27.

22 comments

  • jen

    what about the pharmasists that filled those meds,they had to have known that those other meds were prescribed,or did they? maybe they got the other drugs off the street

    • anon

      Possibly the patients may be using multiple pharmacies, so they may not know. It's a common practice with people who are using highly addictive prescription medicines. I knew someone whose husband was addicted to codeine & she had to go all over the state to get prescriptions filled. She finally had him committed to get rehab & he threatened suicide over the humiliation. The hospital didn't put him on a suicide watch like they should have, & he did commit suicide. She won a sizable malpractice judgment .

      • catlady10

        When you go to a pharmacy to fill a prescription for narcotics your licence is scanned to prevent people from going to multiple pharmacies and pain centers keep track of your prescription refills.

  • allen

    one of these doctors is mine n in 10 years of numerous doctors n numerous physical elements including scoliosis of th back n neck n a arachnoid cyst covering the brain they were the ones who finally listened n helped , i know of one case were they saved a womans life by doing it the old fashioned way with a phone call n old fax because computers where down n the main docter couldn't be reached in the middle of the night , must everythang be ruined now days or labeled bad just because of a few bad apples …

  • Gary Kersey

    Dr. Wagoner has been my family doctor since about 1999. Since that time it is my belief that his practice has saved the life of my wife and I on more than one occasion and helped keep our children in good health till they became adults. It is hard enough to find good doctors now days, let alone some that will listen to you and not act like you are stupid just because you do not have a degree or medical background. He is human like everyone else and not perfect, no one is, but I believe he acts in good faith and tries to the best of his abilities to do the right thing for each patient he has or has had in his care. I honestly believe that this is simply a witch hunt on the part of the law and it will not sway my opinion of my doctor. God Bless him for all he has done for me and my family.

    • Clareena

      I agree with you as far as finding a good doctor these days. These doctors did not look as if they was on drugs, they looked as if they would be the kind of doctor I would want.

      • Gary Kersey

        if you think about it, just what tools do doctors have available in treating patients? (I.E. – surgery, therapy, and medicines). Now they want to falsely accuse a good doctor for using one of the tools he has available to treat his patients? This is surely wrong, all this will accomplish is to make most doctors afraid to treat patients correctly and who will suffer for all this? Their patients. If they want to make a difference they should go after those individuals that are abusing the system not the doctors that are trying their best to do right by their patients.

  • B.Gibson

    I'm from Kokomo, and EVERYBODY here goes to them for Suboxone or whatever else. This is also NOT the first time they have had drama. Book 'em!!!

  • Sallymae

    Dr. Don has been my doctor since I was 6 years old, I am now in my 40's. I am a chronically ill patient with many many health issues and without my medications is going to be very unbearable for me to even exist. I use my medication as I am supposed too and have testing done always. I think that this is like the one man above said, a witch hunt. Yes, there may have been some that have passed away, but these doctors did not push the medications down their throats, and if the families thought that they were having problems with what these doctors were giving them, then why didn't they seek other medical advice? I will stand by my doctor 100%! What do those of us that have chronic health issues due now? Who will be held accountable if something happens to me if I cannot get the medications that I need?

  • GCF

    I have not met a kinder set of Doctors and nurses. I have only heard good things of the Doctors at Wagoners. I have been a patient with Dr. Wagoner for years with no problems he and his staff have always taken care of my family and I. I have not seen anything of what they are being accused of. They are not pill pushers, they are Doctors that actually care for their patients and would never do them any harm. If you are looking for drug dealers and drug pushers go after the ones on the streets and get them out of our schools… . I will stand by my Doctor..

  • Rachael

    I have been a Wagoner patient for the past 6 years. In that time, I have seen them steadily decline. I know for a fact that my case has been discussed with other patients behind my back, which is illegal, they ignore my complaints, do not schedule important tests that they say they will set up, and many other things. I know they have been good in the past, but they have definitely gone downhill, and if the Attorney General thinks this should be done, then it should be. I can't count the number of times that office has ignored my calls for help. Maybe they are just getting too old to practice. It happens. A lot of Wagoner patients are diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, put on pain meds, and then have all their complaints blamed on the fibro. That is not right. They did this to me. And I know for a fact that there are MANY tests that SHOULD have been done that were not. So, something else could be going on with me, and they don't care. I will be happy to be out of that office. I respect those of you who stand by your doctor, but ask yourselves these questions: Are you staying because they give you opiates? Are you staying because you remember how they USED to be? That is all I will say about it.

  • Male RN

    As an RN for more than 32 years I am appalled that the state waited until 12 people died before they took any action. Why? This sort of thing is rampant in our country. People "Dr. shop" until they find one that will prescribe the drugs they want, often going to multiple Dr's looking for drugs and you don't have to look far unfortunately. These Dr"s should be held accountable for ALL the deaths and be prosecuted. I've seen so many people abusing prescription drugs obtained by unscrupulous "MD's" and even Nurse practitioners as well. Also Fibromyalgia is a made up diagnosis that doesn't even exist it's tagged on people that continually complain of "pain" in order to obtain drugs they want.

    • Rachael

      You know, when I first went to my doctor about my pain, I wasn't going for pain meds. I went because I am in pain. And I have been off narcotics for over a year. So that is really unfair. And if Fibromyalgia doesn't exist, then why does the FDA recognize it as a legitimate disorder? Just because it looks like nothing is wrong doesn't mean that there is nothing wrong. It just means the reason has not been found. If I could be off all my meds, I would. I don't think it is fair to be so judgmental. Yes, a lot of people complain of pain just to get drugs, but not ALL people are like that, and to even imply that is really a show of your ignorance.

  • Jan

    Dr. Marilyn is my doctor and I love her. She runs the test that I need. Very great doctor, I would recommend her to anyone. She always meets my needs and helps in every way possible. I will stand behind her all the way.

  • MDumas

    By the grammar and simple sentence structure errors in most of these shining reports of these docs, their clientele is telling.

  • catlady10

    People who obviously don't experience debilitating pain on a reg basis will never understand the need for pain management. Regular doctors can not prescribe certain pain meds. That's why they are sent to pain management centers. It's either spend your life in bed or have a bit of a life. There are a lot of patients who are at fault for not taking their meds properly. Be fair. If you don't know anything about chronic pain then don't be so quick to judge. I do agree that there should be proof that the patients really need the meds though.

  • catlady10

    Replying to the comment about going to multiple pharmacies, when you get your prescription filled your licence is scanned. This goes into their database to keep people from filling multiple prescriptions at the same time. Keeps track of every narcotic you have filled.
    Also, I don't keep track of grammar errors when I'm commenting on posts. I don't know why, but there always has to be a grammar bully on every thread. I find them to be insecure and having a desperate need to let people know that they are some what intelligent.

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