As Riverside celebrates successes it’s seen along East Burlington Street in the downtown area, one address in particular hasn’t been anything to crow about.
Since it arrived under cloud back in January 2013, the clinic known as Riverside Pain Management has sought to keep a low profile. Its hours of operation are not predictable and, at the local level, it’s pretty much escaped notice.
Elsewhere, however, the clinic is clearly seen as a problem, especially in Springfield. The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation within the span of a month suspended the licenses of both doctors authorized to write prescriptions at the clinic.
One of those doctors, William J. McMahon has had his license placed in permanent inactive status by the state. The other doctor, Paul C. Madison? Well, let’s say things are looking dicey for him.
Apart from having his license temporarily suspended, Madison is awaiting trial in federal court. In December 2012, Madison was indicted by a federal grand jury and accused of submitting almost $3.6 million in false medical claims to 10 insurance companies between 2005 and 2009.
In July, Madison appears as a key figure in a lawsuit filed by the Illinois Attorney general against Insys Therapeutics Inc., which makes a powerfully addictive drug called Subsys. The drug contains fentanyl – you may recognize that name, because fentanyl is sometimes used to cut heroin and has been blamed for many overdose deaths.
Madison, according to the attorney general is the No. 1 prescriber of Subsys in Illinois. The state also accuses Insys of aggressively marketing Subsys, which was developed to be used by cancer patients, to doctors who prescribe high volumes of opioid medicines rather than focusing on oncologists.
To keep doctors top customers, Insys created a “speaker program,” the attorney general claims. Madison was one such “speaker,” who was paid $84,400 to speak at what the attorney general called “sham” events at restaurants, where Subsys was discussed “very little, if at all.”
And then there’s the office administrator, Joseph Giacchino. He lost his medical license in 2011, according to the state, for “issuing numerous controlled substances to patients of his practice without therapeutic purposes, engaging in immoral conduct with a patient of his practice and pre-dating prescriptions.”
On Nov. 22, he was fined an undisclosed amount for “issuing a prescription for Norco … in the amount of 300 tablets for a patient of his practice that was dated five days subsequent to the patient’s death.”
We’re glad that the state appears to ramping up the pressure on the Riverside clinic, but it’s still operating. Giacchino still can find doctors who want to work for his clinic, so for now it’s still humming away in downtown Riverside.
It’s not exactly the kind of place a bourgeoning downtown is looking for when trying to attract new business investment. And until things change there, the spotlight will continue to shine on Riverside Pain Management.
And not in a good way.