|Community Mental Health Services at Lawrence & Kenmore (Alex Garcia-Tribune)|
For years, Dr. Michael Reinstein was a prolific prescriber of a dangerous antipsychotic drug in nursing homes and mental health facilities, giving it to more than 50 percent of the patients under his care.
The psychiatrist's prescriptions of clozapine, known as a risky drug of last resort, were linked to three patients' deaths and triggered federal accusations of kickbacks and fraud.
Now, the Illinois medical board has indefinitely suspended Reinstein's license, saying he received $350,000 in illegal payments from the drug's maker while disregarding its life-threatening effects and alternative treatments. Clozapine can cause seizures, a decrease in white blood cells, inflammation of the heart wall and increased risk of death in elderly patients. Continue Reading