Four Nurse Practitioners Accused in Calif. Death Certificate Project

in Local Roundup

In addition to publicly calling out 64 physicians for overprescribing dangerous drugs, the California's Death Certificate Project has now threatened the licenses of four nurse practitioners for negligence after an investigation linked their prescribing to patients' fatal overdoses.

One of the accused, Sharon Anne Whittemore of San Bruno, was prompted to surrender her license after the board found she was grossly negligent and incompetent in her prescribing. In particular, she prescribed large quantities of oxycodone to a patient who was found dead in his home from an overdose one day after he filled her prescription.

The 50-year-old male, named "KP" in the California Board of Registered Nursing's accusation, had been admitted for spinal fusion therapy to the University of California San Francisco's Spine Clinic, where Whittemore worked. At discharge on May 11, 2012, he was given prescriptions for 200 oxycodone/acetaminophen tablets for pain and an undetermined amount of clonazepam for anxiety. On June 13, a few days before KP's scheduled follow-up appointment, he called and spoke to Whittemore, who wrote him another prescription for 360 oxycodone/acetaminophen tablets, an amount the board called an "excessive amount of oxycodone."

Continue Reading on MEDPAGE TODAY