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State suspends Florence doctor's license, says 15 patients died in his care

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FLORENCE, Ky. - Nearly six months after his office was raided by the FBI and DEA, a Florence doctor's medical license has been suspended.

The Kentucky Board of Medical Licensure suspended Dr. Gary Shearer's license Monday, pending an investigation into his medical practices. His Turfway Road office is now closed.

In the documents 9 News obtained, the board said Shearer's practice "constitutes a danger to the health, welfare, and safety of patients and the general public, due to the nature of the consequences of drug diversions and the risks to patients who are taking multiple pain medications and are very prone to overdose."

The grievance report against Shearer notes 15 patients died in the Florence doctor's care. All 15 were prescribed pain medicine by Shearer. In April, 9 News found five Boone County patients who died of prescription drug overdoses while in the doctor's care.

In April, the FBI and DEA raided Shearer's Florence office. They removed dozens of boxes filled with files. The documents 9 News obtained Monday state authorities removed "all of the licensee's patient charts and 313 blank prescriptions which had been prescribed by the licensee."

According to the DEA, the April raid "was the result of an investigation of several of the licensee's patients who had overdosed and died while under the licensee's care."

The complaint against Dr. Shearer was filed by an investigator for the Drug Enforcement Agency after Shearer was named as one of top five prescribers of Oxycodone in central and eastern Kentucky. In November 2011, the top five prescribers were identified at the request of the Kentucky Attorney General using the state's new KASPER system. KASPER tracks prescribing patterns and identifies patients, and doctors, who may be abusing prescription drugs.

The documents 9 News obtained also state on Sept. 4, Shearer applied to open a Physician Owned Pain Management Clinic.

Shearer has 30 days to respond to the state regarding the allegations against him. The state says, "legal grounds exist for disciplinary action against his Kentucky medical license."

A hearing on the complaint is scheduled for May 2013.

Click this link to read the full order from the Kentucky Board of Medical Licensure: http://www.state.ky.us/agencies/kbml/finalorders/16833.pdf

Stay with 9 News and WCPO.com for updates as they become available.

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