Physician accused of improperly issuing drugs to patients

By Kelly Bauer

  A doctor from the Sauk Medical Center, who has offices in Sterling and DeKalb, has had his physician & surgeon and controlled substance licenses suspended for allegedly prescribing drugs to patients without properly evaluating them, according to documents received from the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR).

  According to the documents, Dr. Richard Ng’s action constituted “an immediate danger to the public.” During the course of the DEA’s investiation of Ng, agents learned several patients of Ng’s died of polyphamarcy and/or multiple drug intoxication.

The DEA executed a federal search warrant in July at the Sauk Medical Clinic, 705 W. Third St. in Sterling, during which, evidence was seized as part of the investigation.

  “We can’t comment on [the IDFPR’s] action, but I can say that evidence seized by the DEA at the time of the warrant is being evaluated,” said DEA special agent Will Taylor. “Since our criminal investigation continues, and there have been no federal criminal charges brought, we can’t speculate on the case.”

  According to the documents, Ng prescribed methadone, morphine sulfate, Oxycodone, Vicodin, and Xanax, amongst other prescription drugs, to “numerous” patients for non-medically accepted therapeutic purposes without evaluations and/or examinations.

  During the investigation, Ng prescribed multiple controlled substances to three DEA agents who were investigating him. The DEA also received complaints from pharmacists that Ng’s patients received “large quantities of Schedule II Controlled Substances.” According to the DEA’s website for the Office of Diversion Control, these types of substances “have a high potential for abuse which may lead to severe psychological or physical dependence.”

  Whether Ng’s licenses continue to be suspended will be decided at an IDFPR hearing.

  “The physician involved is entitled to a hearing within two weeks. His hearing is scheduled for Nov. 8,” said IDFPR spokeswoman Susan Hofer.