TAMPA — State health officials on Thursday announced the emergency suspension of Dr. William Crumbley's license, accusing the Tampa doctor of writing excessive prescriptions for powerful painkillers that may have contributed to a patient's death.
The Florida Board of Medicine has long been aware of concerns about Crumbley's practices. In 2007, he was fined $12,500 for inappropriately prescribing narcotics and other drugs. His medical license was suspended after he failed to comply with the terms of his discipline.
Crumbley, 53, could not be reached Thursday afternoon. A representative answering the phone at the Palm Medical Group on Busch Boulevard said he was working there but unavailable. The complaints leading to his suspension were from his time practicing at Harbour Medical Group in Lutz, a pain clinic which has since been closed.
In ordering his license suspended, state health officials cited the case of a 37-year-old man who came to see Crumbley for arthritis pain and anxiety. Over several visits, Crumbley prescribed large quantities of oxycodone and Xanax without reviewing the patient's medical history, records show.
In March, Crumbley discharged the patient, identified as D.G., after receiving a tip that he was abusing the medications. Several weeks later, the patient died from problems including a cardiac condition associated with long-term drug abuse.
Health officials also faulted Crumbley for increasing another patient's regimen until he was being prescribed 795 pain pills, including 495 oxycodone tablets, in a single visit to the doctor.
Times researcher Caryn Baird contributed to this report. Letitia Stein can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (727) 893-8330.