Aussie medical professional Matthew S. Kelleher has been fined $1.2 million after he pleaded guilty to two counts of misusing prescription drug and misusing medical equipment.
The Australian Medical Association’s (AMA) Health and Medical Practitioner Regulation Authority (HPRA) upheld the finding in a decision released this morning.
“The Australian Medical Journal (AMA Journal) has published an article about the prescribing practices of the former Australian Federal Health Minister, Matthew S Corbett, and it has come to the attention of the AMA’s Health and Legal Services that Mr Corbett prescribed some of the most costly medicines in the world,” the HPRA said in a statement.
“Specifically, Mr Corbanks prescription of Pyrimethamine, which is used for the treatment of malaria, is not approved for use in Australia and is not listed on the National Pharmaceutical Code of Practice.”
Furthermore, Mr Kellehier prescribed Pyrimethasone, which was not approved by the National Health and Pharmaceutical Services Commission (NHPSC), which oversees drug development and manufacturing in Australia.
“We have determined that the conduct of Mr Kallehier in contravention of these regulations breaches the Pharmaceutical Code and he has breached the Australian Pharmacopoeia Act.”
Kelleher, who has been with the AMA since 1993, pleaded guilty in April last year to three counts of using prescription drugs without an appropriate prescription and one count of mispricing and misdirecting.
The AMA said the fine was a “tremendous blow” to Mr Killehier and his family, and he was devastated to be fined for his actions.
“Matthew Kellehan’s conduct has no place in the profession of medicine,” AMA Chief Executive Dr Tony Gabb said.
“This case was a direct attack on Mr Kilehier, his family and their integrity and they are devastated to see their livelihoods destroyed in this way.”
He has not only defrauded his patients and their trust but also harmed our health and the wellbeing of the patients and staff who worked with him.
“Mr Kellehy has since left the AMA, but the association has said it would continue to pursue him.
Mr Killehy, who pleaded guilty earlier this year, had previously admitted two counts each of misuse of prescription drugs and misprices and misdirection.