Tyler-area doctors charged with opioid-related crimes

Tyler-area doctors charged with opioid-related crimes
Pictured are Dr. James Stocks (left) and Dr. David Shafer. (Source: Texas Medical Board)

TYLER, TEXAS (KLTV) - The medical licenses of two doctors employed by UT Health Science Center in Tyler have been suspended following an opioid prescription investigation.

According to online Smith County judicial records, Dr. James Stocks, 66, of Tyler, was arrested Aug. 12 and charged with diverting a controlled substance for another person’s use. Dr. David Shafer, 67, of Whitehouse, was arrested Oct. 14 and charged with fraud/intent to obtain a controlled substance.

A Texas Medical Board order of temporary suspension shows that in June the board received information that Shafer might have been prescribing controlled substances inappropriately to his wife.

Pharmacy records showed that on more than 70 occasions between June 2016 and June 2019, Shafer wrote prescriptions in his wife’s name for hydrocodone/APAP 10/325.

The suspension order also notes that Shafer’s practice partners prescribed him hydrocodone during that same time period.

“Available records show respondent received 90 pills of hydrocodone/APA 10/325 on a monthly basis from his practice partners for at least three years. One of his practice partners, Dr. James Stocks, has admitted to prescribing hydrocodone to respondent on a monthly basis since 2014,” the document states.

Shafer admitted to using opioids since 1994 and became dependent on them sometime after 2000.

The board then decided to temporarily suspend Shafer’s license on Sept. 10.

A Texas Medical Board order of temporary restriction outlines the investigation that led to the temporary suspension of Stocks’ license, describing how Stocks treated his colleague for “around 15 years, including prescribing him opioids on a monthly basis, without conducting regular examinations and without conducting appropriate monitoring of the patient’s compliance with prescribed medications.”

Following the investigation, Stocks’ license was temporarily suspended on Sept. 10.

Read statements from the Texas Medical Board below.

Action Date: 09/10/2019

Description: ON SEPTEMBER 10, 2019, A DISCIPLINARY PANEL OF THE TEXAS MEDICAL BOARD TEMPORARILY SUSPENDED, WITHOUT NOTICE, THE TEXAS MEDICAL LICENSE OF DAVID R. SHAFER, M.D., AFTER DETERMINING HIS CONTINUATION IN THE PRACTICE OF MEDICINE POSES A CONTINUING THREAT TO PUBLIC WELFARE. THE SUSPENSION WAS EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY. THE BOARD PANEL FOUND THAT DR. SHAFER HAD BEEN DIVERTING SCHEDULE II CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE PRESCRIPTIONS HE WROTE IN HIS WIFE’S NAME FOR HIS OWN PERSONAL USE AND OBTAINING PRESCRIPTIONS FROM PRACTICE PARTNERS. DR. SHAFER IS CURRENTLY ENROLLED IN AN INPATIENT REHABILITATION PROGRAM IN LOUISIANA, WHERE EVALUATIONS FROM THAT FACILITY INDICATE DR. SHAFER IS NOT CURRENTLY FIT TO PRACTICE. A TEMPORARY SUSPENSION HEARING WITH NOTICE WILL BE HELD AS SOON AS PRACTICABLE WITH 10 DAYS’ NOTICE TO DR. SHAFER, UNLESS THE HEARING IS SPECIFICALLY WAIVED BY DR. SHAFER. THE TEMPORARY SUSPENSION REMAINS IN PLACE UNTIL THE BOARD TAKES FURTHER ACTION.

Action Date: 09/10/2019

Description: ON SEPTEMBER 10, 2019, A DISCIPLINARY PANEL OF THE TEXAS MEDICAL BOARD TEMPORARILY RESTRICTED, WITHOUT NOTICE, THE TEXAS MEDICAL LICENSE OF JAMES MARTIN STOCKS, M.D., AFTER DETERMINING HIS CONTINUATION IN THE UNRESTRICTED PRACTICE OF MEDICINE POSES A CONTINUING THREAT TO PUBLIC WELFARE. THE RESTRICTION WAS EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY. DR. STOCKS IS PROHIBITED FROM POSSESSING, DISTRIBUTING OR PRESCRIBING CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES IN TEXAS AND SHALL NOT SERVE AS A TREATING DOCTOR OR PRESCRIBE TO HIMSELF, HIS FAMILY, HIS PEERS OR OTHERS IN WHICH HE HAS A CLOSE PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP. THE BOARD PANEL FOUND THAT DR. STOCKS WAS ARRESTED ON OR ABOUT AUGUST 12, 2019, FOR CHARGES THAT INCLUDE FELONY DIVERSION OF A SCHEDULE II CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE. EVIDENCE BEFORE THE PANEL INCLUDES DR. STOCKS' ADMISSION THAT HE TREATED A COLLEAGUE FOR AROUND 15 YEARS, INCLUDING PRESCRIBING HIM OPIOIDS ON A MONTHLY BASIS, WITHOUT CONDUCTING REGULAR EXAMINATIONS AND WITHOUT CONDUCTING APPROPRIATE MONITORING OF THE PATIENT'S COMPLIANCE WITH PRESCRIBED MEDICATIONS. AS A RESULT, THE PATIENT BECAME ADDICTED TO OPIOID MEDICATIONS AND IS NOW IN TREATMENT FOR THIS ADDICTION. A TEMPORARY RESTRICTION HEARING WITH NOTICE WILL BE HELD AS SOON AS PRACTICABLE WITH 10 DAYS' NOTICE TO DR. STOCKS, UNLESS THE HEARING IS SPECIFICALLY WAIVED BY DR. STOCKS. THE TEMPORARY RESTRICTION REMAINS IN PLACE UNTIL THE BOARD TAKES FURTHER ACTION.

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