New Hampshire doctor who diverted opioids can return to practice after license suspension

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A doctor who underwent drug treatment has had his license restored.

A New Hampshire doctor has had his license restored and can return to practice following a suspension for opioid use.

Christopher S. Manfred, M.D., a former anesthesiologist at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, New Hampshire, can resume practice after undergoing treatment, according to a New Hampshire Public Radio report.

Manfred’s license was suspended earlier this year after he was accused of faking medical records and diverting opioids for his own use.

The New Hampshire Board of Medicine ruled earlier this month that Manfred can begin practicing medicine again under certain conditions, including practicing only critical care medicine for the first year and agreeing to monitoring, according to the NHPR report.

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Manfred’s license was temporarily suspended in January over accusations he diverted opioids from Dartmouth-Hitchcock for his own use and falsified medical records to make it look like the drugs were going to patients, the Valley News reportedHe reached an agreement in February with the state medical board to voluntarily stop practicing and to enter a program for doctors with addiction, alcohol and other behavioral problems.

He no longer works at Dartmouth-Hitchcock.

Such cases raise the controversial question of whether physicians should be subject to random drug testing. In a high-stress work environment, and with easy access to prescription medications, it's estimated that more than 100,000 doctors, nurses, medical technicians and aides abuse these drugs or are addicted to them.

With no state or federal regulations, it’s up to individual hospitals and health systems to decide the question of drug testing.