By Terri A Lewis, Ph.D.
Pain management is full of fraudulent practices and practitioners. The only way to deal with this is for patients to educate themselves before they go looking for help. In Oklahoma, as in other states, it is the responsibility of state Medical Boards to regulate medical practitioners and practices within their states. FDA approves but does not regulate drugs or their off label uses by Physicians. That’s the responsibly of the Oklahoma Medical Board, spelled out in law; the Board link itself is found at http://www.okmedicalboard.org/. The Medical Board’s Mission is to-
- Promote the Health, Safety and Well-being of the citizens (patients) of Oklahoma by requiring a high level of qualifications, standards and continuing education for licenses regulated by Oklahoma Medical Board.
- To protect the on-going Health Safety and Well-being of the citizens (patients) of Oklahoma by investigating complaints, conducting public hearings, effectuating and monitoring disciplinary actions against any of the licensed professionals, while providing the licensee with proper due process and all rights afforded under the law.
- To provide any member of society upon request, a copy of the specific public records and information on any of the licensed professionals.
The Medical Board’s Vision is “To ensure that qualified health care professionals are available to the citizens of Oklahoma.”
Medical Board’s Stated Values and Behaviors
We take pride in our agency’s ability to ensure that qualified healthcare professionals are available to the citizens of this state. We will perform our responsibilities with integrity and professionalism. We recognize the importance of personal and professional development for each employee and we will seek ways to expand their knowledge and capabilities. We will be responsive to the needs of the potential licensees. The agency strives to process an application for licensure within a reasonable length time. We are committed to protecting the public from the aberrant practices of any licensed professional. We will be sensitive to the complaints from anyone concerning a professional licensed by the agency.
Complaints in any form and from any source will be reviewed, acknowledged and adjudicated to some conclusion within a conservative time period. We will respond in a timely manner to anyone needing services and/or information from the agency in person or by telephone, fax, e-mail, postal mail or the Internet. We value our ability to serve the public by providing useful and easily accessible information. All public records are available for review and all board meetings are open to the public.
The members of the Oklahoma Medical Board are appointed to multiyear terms and membership is located at this link: http://www.okmedicalboard.org/pdf/board_and_committee_members.pdf
The Drugs in Question
The approved uses for Dexamethasone, Kenalog, and Vitamin B12 are located on an FDA website. Physicians are allowed to use approved medications for off label applications if they feel it is warranted and there is nothing to prevent this except patient vigilence. Helpful links are:
- All drugs: http://www.drugs.com/
- Dexamethasone: http://www.drugs.com/search.php?searchterm=Dexamethasone+,
- Kenalog (also known as Triamcinolone): http://www.drugs.com/search.php?searchterm=Kenalog
- Vitamin B12 injection: http://www.drugs.com/search.php?searchterm=Vitamine+B12+injection
Dr. John Michael Lonergan’s license information is located at the link: http://www.okmedicalboard.org/licensee/MD/28344
Who should file a complaint?
Injections for pain management are big business and easy money. There is little to prevent a doctor whose license has been suspended in one state from setting up shop in another state. According to reports, Lonergan is employed by the Priceless Beauty Spa in Kingfisher, Oklahoma, where he claims that “the Jesus Shot cures chronic pain for life. If that claim is made to patients who are charged $300 for the shot, and they feel that they have been sold a medical procedure under false pretenses, or the injection they receive creates serious adverse events, they should contact the Oklahoma Medical Board at the links above and file a complaint. Complaint procedures arelocated at this link: http://www.okmedicalboard.org/complaint.
They may also want to contact the state Better Business Bureau and file a trade complaint against the Priceless Beauty Spa at the following link: http://www.bbb.org/oklahoma-city/