Federal court: Maplewood dentist pays $75k for illegally prescribing opioids

A Maplewood dentist settled a civil suit against him in federal court April 26 for allegedly writing prescriptions for people who did not need them.

Dr. Jerry Brunsoman agreed to pay $75,000 to the government for allegedly giving illegitimate prescriptions for opioid medicines. The United States Attorney’s Office also accused Brunsoman of failing to comply with Controlled Substances Act record keeping rules. 

According to court documents, Brunsoman issued multiple prescriptions for Schedule II drugs oxycodone and hydrocodone without a legitimate purpose at his dentist office, the Institute of Facial Surgery St. Paul, on Cope Avenue in Maplewood. Brunsoman, who no longer practices dentistry, also allegedly failed to keep complete and accurate records of his prescriptions. 

The point of record keeping laws, says a U.S. Department of Justice statement, is to prevent doctors from diverting drugs for illegal use. 

“As a result of Brunsoman’s alleged actions, hundreds of doses of controlled substances went unaccounted for and are presumed to have been diverted for illicit purposes,” the statement says.

Before the federal case, The Minnesota Board if Dentistry investigated and reprimanded Brunsoman with a public discipline order. The order required Brunsoman voluntarily surrender his dentist license and Drug Enforcement Agency registration for prescribing controlled drugs. 

“When doctors disregard laws, they allow pharmaceutical drugs to be illegally channeled into our community and contribute to increased drug abuse,” said DEA Omaha Division Diversion Program Manager William Stockman in the statement. 

“Prescription drug abuse is a very real threat to the health and safety of our community. Doctors and medical professionals have a unique responsibility in preventing these dangerous drugs from falling into the wrong hands,” added U.S. Attorney Erica MacDonald.

 

—Solomon Gustavo

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