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Physicians Board Suspends Annapolis Doctor For Prescription Abuse

Board investigation alleges that Michael Freedman practiced medicine while under the influence of controlled substances.

An Annapolis doctor has lost his medical license because an investigation by Maryland's Board of Physicians concluded that he abused prescription medications.

Michael Freedman, 45, of Annapolis, received a summary suspension of his license on Nov. 28. A summary suspension prohibits Freedman from practicing medicine until his official hearing set for June 2013.

In its decision, the board stated in part that Freedman's actions constituted "a substantial likelihood of risk of serious harm to the public health, safety and welfare, which imperatively requires the immediate suspension of his license to practice medicine."

The board alleges that Freedman violated multiple provisions of the Maryland Medical Practice Act, including the abuse of alcohol and opiates, misappropriating the identity of an associate to write prescriptions, writing narcotic prescriptions for personal use, practicing medicine while under the influence of controlled substances and fraudulently using his medical license.

Freedman obtained a license to practice medicine in Maryland in June of 1993 and was employed with Annapolis Internal Medicine at 116 Defense Highway.

The board began investigating Freedman in the summer of 2012 after receiving an anonymous tip that a co-worker had testified under oath that Freedman used his or her computer to "forge prescriptions for narcotics."

The complaint against Freedman also alleged that he admitted to "writing narcotic prescriptions to himself and others illegally during the last several years, which were filed at local pharmacies; and abusing narcotics and other illicit drugs."

Freedman tested positive for methadone and oxycodone in August, and the board alleges that he also used cocaine, marijuana and hallucinogenic drugs.

He offered an explanation for the narcotics found in his system, but a board investigator could not confirm Freedman's story.

If convicted, Freedman faces permanent revocation of his license as well as fines.

Karen Black, a spokeswoman for the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, said she couldn't confirm whether the Board of Physicians plans to turn its findings over to Maryland's Attorney General after the 2013 hearing.

"The decision from the board stands alone, and the Attorney General's office is not a part of the board," said David Paulson, a spokesman for the Maryland Attorney General's office.

He also could not confirm the existence of a criminal investigation into Freedman.

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