|NEWARK – The New Jersey Board of Medical Examiners has temporarily suspended the license of a Passaic County physician, and required him to undergo ethics training, due to findings that he prescribed steroids at an anti-aging clinic without adequately examining patients or ensuring adequate patient care.
James W. Goodnight is the owner and medical director of Dr. Goodnight’s Center for Everlasting Beauty, in Haledon, which offers cosmetic surgery and anti-aging treatments. He has also prescribed hormones including testosterone which is a Controlled Dangerous Substance under New Jersey and federal law.
“Nationwide, testosterone and other steroids are surging in popularity as purported anti-aging treatments, leading to concerns about whether doctors are truly weighing their known risks and providing clear information to patients,” Acting New Jersey Attorney General John J. Hoffman said. “New Jersey is taking action to make sure doctors follow our rules for the protection of patients and the practice of good medicine.”
The Board of Medical Examiners, acting on the results of an investigation by the Division of Consumer Affairs’ Enforcement Bureau, found that Goodnight prescribed steroids and other medications without performing adequate patient examinations or providing adequate individualized care. The Board also found that Goodnight provided prescriptions to himself and family members without creating detailed medical records; that he maintained incomplete and deficient medical records; and that he failed to obtain informed consent prior to treating a patient.
The Board further found that Goodnight failed to safeguard the use of his prescription pad and prescribing authority, by allowing an individual who was not a licensed doctor to participate in the care and treatment of patients.
The Board suspended Goodnight’s license for six months, to be followed by a two-and-a-half year probationary period. The Board also required Goodnight to successfully complete three Board-approved courses in ethics; medical recordkeeping and informed patient consent; and basic blood analysis and physical examinations.
The Board further ordered that, during the six months following Goodnight’s return to practice, he must hire a pre-approved monitor to submit monthly reports on any new prescribing of anabolic steroids and to ensure that any such prescribing is consistent with accepted medical standards. The Board also ordered Goodnight to pay $56,675 to the State, including a $30,000 civil penalty and the rest to reimburse the State’s investigative costs and attorneys fees.
Goodnight told the Board that he has voluntarily ceased offering bio-identical hormone treatment. The Consent Order he signed indicates that Goodnight neither admits nor denies the State’s allegations against him.
Acting Attorney General Hoffman noted that the Board of Medical Examiners in February 2013 revised and expanded New Jersey’s regulation on the prescribing of anabolic steroids and human growth hormone. The Attorney General’s Office led the effort to develop the new regulation, due to public concerns about a growing industry of doctors who prescribed these drugs without a legitimate diagnosis.
The new regulation explicitly states that a practitioner can only prescribe steroids or human growth hormone when there is a bona fide relationship with the patient, and after obtaining the patient’s full medical history, performing a full medical examination, and examining a valid medical need for such drugs.
Goodnight’s conduct, leading to the Board’s findings, took place before the adoption of the new regulation. The Board of Medical Examiners reviewed his actions pursuant to the requirements that existed when they took place.
The Division of Consumer Affairs’ Enforcement Bureau conducted the State’s investigation. Deputy Attorney General Kim Ringler, of the Division of Law, represented the State in this matter.
For more information on the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs' initiative to halt the diversion and abuse of prescription drugs, view the Division's NJPMP website at www.NJConsumerAffairs.gov/pmp, and the Division's Project Medicine Drop website at www.NJConsumerAffairs.gov/meddrop.
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