Armed with a federal search warrant and affidavit, agents of the federal Food and Drug Administration and Drug Enforcement Agency called on the Hanapepe Clinic of Dr. Harold C. “Tex” Spear III, Spear confirmed yesterday.
But was it a raid, or just a gathering of information?
United States Attorney for the district of Hawai’i, Edward H. Kubo Jr., confirmed last week that the March 8 visit by the federal officials to Spear’s clinic surrounds allegations of distribution of controlled substances.
Spear said the investigation does involve distribution of controlled medications.
Spear said no charges were filed against him, and no arrests were made.
Keith Kamita, chief of the Narcotics Enforcement Division of the state Department of Public Safety, confirmed Monday that officials from his office assisted in carrying out a federal search warrant at Spear’s Hanapepe Clinic.
Kamita said the search warrant came from the U.S. Food & Drug Administration.
In a written statement faxed to The Garden Island, Spear said that agents with the FDA and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration came to his clinic to investigate patient records.
“This investigation was on behalf of the U.S. Attorney’s Office of Northern Alabama, who is investigating a Birmingham pharmacy that has been filling prescriptions for some of my patients,” Spear wrote.
“Apparently, due to a change in the Alabama state law, the pharmacy is being looked into for compliance with the regulations regarding the dispensing of controlled medications.
“I cooperated with the authorities, and there has been no charges filed against me,” said Spear.
Spear said the FDA officials visited every pharmacy on the island, and that the visit had nothing to do with his writing prescriptions for medical marijuana.
Federal officials in Alabama are also involved in the ongoing investigation into some of Spear’s patients filling prescriptions for pain-killers at a pharmacy in northern Alabama, near Birmingham, he said.
Spear said he sometimes writes prescriptions for people he doesn’t physically see in his clinic, after reviewing written patient histories, results of recent physical examinations done by other doctors, records of other doctors, and “a comprehensive telephone evaluation.”
He said he doesn’t believe in anti-inflammatory drugs, as he is one of a number of medical practitioners who feels that inflammation is the first part of healing, and if inflammation is stopped by drugs, healing stops as well.
He writes some prescriptions for pain control and pain management without anti-inflammatories, he added.