Greensboro doctor who lost license after allegedly over-prescribing opioids speaks out

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GREENSBORO, N.C. — Tens of thousands of prescriptions, red flags for opioid abuse and extremely high doses prescribed. That combination caused a Greensboro doctor to lose his medical license.

FOX8 caught up with Dr. Wayland McKenzie as he was headed to his lawyer’s office to fight to get his license back.

The 13-page North Carolina Medical Board Fact Finding Conclusion says McKenzie over prescribed opioids to patients dealing with pain and refilled prescriptions on a regular basis without any follow-up exams.

McKenzie says he didn’t do anything wrong.

“I went to a symposium on how to treat people for pain and that’s what I was doing,” he said.

But the North Carolina Medical Board sees things differently.

They have evidence McKenzie fell below the standard of care required in the state.

They list red flags like no treatment plans, no screening of patients for abuse or addiction and dosages three times what the Centers for Disease Control recommends.

“There is an opioid crisis, sure,” he said. “But it didn’t exist with the population I have.”

The Board sent McKenzie a letter of concern in 2015, saying there needed to be “sufficient documentation of evaluations of treatment plans or patients to substantiate the rate of prescribing.”

Years later, the pill prescriptions nearly doubled.

In 2015 and 2016, McKenzie wrote 11,300 prescriptions.

In 2017 and 2018, that number skyrocketed to 21,190.

“It seems like I was busy seeing patients who were tested and have a number of problems. The status of just reaching out to treat them for their chronic pain symptoms,” McKenzie said.

He doesn’t think the number is alarming.

“Just because people in the rest of the world abuse those types of medicines doesn’t mean that’s what I was doing,” he said.

On Feb. 22, the doctor lost his license and closed the doors of his practice on East Market Street.

“I wasn’t given the option to taper down medicines for anybody, they were just shut down cold turkey,” he said.

Despite the evidence gathered from six patient files, the doctor is adamant he did nothing wrong.

“They didn’t die,” McKenzie said. “None of the patients I’ve ever treated died. None of them.”

The North Carolina Medical Board considers this a closed case.

A representative for the board told FOX8 that McKenzie will not be able to reapply for his medical license for at least two years.

However, if he does appeal and wins that fight, he will be back in business.

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