The New Jersey State Board of Medical Examiners has revoked the license of Dr. Adam C. Gilliss, a Merchantville physician who, according to a Board committee, “was perceived to be an ‘easy mark’ for drug-seeking patients” and who endangered his patients and the public through his negligent prescribing of addictive painkillers.
“The authority to make controlled painkillers available to patients is truly a life and death responsibility,” Acting Attorney General John J. Hoffman said. “Doctors who abuse this authority, either through greed or negligence, should be removed from practice.”
Under a Consent Order with the Board of Medical Examiners, Gilliss must wait at least two years before applying for the reinstatement of his medical license. He also must pay the State $50,000, comprising a $30,000 civil penalty and $20,000 reimbursement of the State’s investigative and legal costs. Before applying for reinstatement Gillis would, among other things, be required to complete Board-approved training and evaluations, and appear before a committee of the Board to demonstrate his fitness to resume practice.
In addition, Gilliss’ New Jersey authority to prescribe controlled dangerous substances (CDS) is permanently revoked – meaning that, even if the Board one day restores his medical license, he will remain prohibited from prescribing medications that are classified as CDS.
“The Board of Medical Examiners has acted to prevent this doctor from ever again contributing to the epidemic of opiate abuse,” Division of Consumer Affairs Acting Director Steve Lee said. “This is a vital part of our fight to prevent addiction, overdose, and the suffering they cause.”
Gilliss’ medical license had been temporarily suspended since July 2014, following a hearing by a committee of the Board of Medical Examiners on an administrative complaint filed by the Attorney General.
The Attorney General alleged that Gilliss prescribed potentially addictive narcotic painkillers to multiple patients, for lengthy periods of time, without adequately evaluating the patients’ risk of drug dependency or to determine whether use of the drugs was medically necessary or justified.
The State alleged that Gilliss’ conduct with regard to each of the seven patients constituted gross negligence and professional or occupational misconduct, put the patients at risk for opioid overuse and dependency, and/or facilitated the patients’ possible diversion of CDS.
In entering into the Consent Order for the revocation of Gilliss’ license, the Board noted that “His untethered opiate prescribing … placed each patient at a significant risk of harm” and demonstrated “a fundamental absence of judgment … along with a consistent pattern of compromised and dangerous practices” that created a “profound risk of harm” for patients and/or the public.
In entering into the previous, July 2014 Order that temporarily suspended his license, a committee of the Board noted that Gilliss “knew that he was perceived to be an ‘easy mark’ for drug-seeking patients, but took no measures to alter his lax practices” until he became aware the Board was investigating him through the Division’s Enforcement Bureau.
The Division of Consumer Affairs’ Enforcement Bureau conducted this investigation.