A Sydney GP has been found guilty of professional misconduct for inappropriately prescribing body building and anti-ageing drugs to several patients.
But Bao-Quy Nguyen-Phuoc, who has a long history of inappropriate practice including being banned from Medicare and ordered to repay $105,816 in benefits in 2006, is allowed to keep practising in a group surgery.
The Merrylands GP admitted that between 2004 and 2006 he wrongly prescribed steroids to 14 patients, inappropriately gave four patients an epilepsy drug for pain relief and anxiety, prescribed and self-administered human growth hormone and prescribed excessive amounts of pain relief to a drug-dependent patient.
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He also potentially put a patient at risk by giving intravenous vitamin C and kept poor records for 18 patients.
Dr Nguyen-Phuoc said he started treating patients with anabolic and androgenic steroids in 2002 because ”many of them came from the local gym” and ”had an interest in increasing their muscle bulk or were complaining of fatigue”.
He accepted that prescribing human growth hormone did not have ”a recognised therapeutic use” but said human growth hormone had a reputation as an anti-ageing hormone causing ”natural fat loss and muscle toning”.
The NSW Medical Board was concerned with Dr Nguyen-Phuoc’s heavy use of complementary medicine and described him as ”having a singular non-conventional approach to patient management”.
In its judgment last week, the Medical Tribunal of NSW said it accepted his claim that at the time he administered the steroids he was unaware this was illegal.
Dr Nguyen-Phuoc told the tribunal that being prosecuted had been @life-changing@.
The tribunal decided not to deregister or suspend him, believing he had learnt his lesson. It was satisfied he would not ”repeat any of the conduct which is the subject of the complaint”.
Dr Nguyen-Phuoc is not allowed to possess, supply or administer highly addictive (Schedule 8) drugs, anabolic/androgenic steroids and benzodiazepines.
He has been banned from practising as a solo GP but has been allowed to keep working in a group practice under supervision.