Doctor accused of enabling addictions

June 21, 2005 A state board alleges she prescribed drugs to people who were hooked on them. A Knoxville physician has been accused of incompetence for allegedly prescribing addictive drugs to people who clearly had become hooked on them.

The Iowa Board of Medical Examiners says Dr. Jana Marjenhoff, 45, "inappropriately prescribed numerous controlled substances to patients who exhibited blatant and repeated signs of drug-seeking behavior." Some of the patients wound up in addiction-treatment programs, the board said.

The regulator's allegations, released last week, list the painkillers OxyContin, Lortab and Duragesic among the drugs Marjenhoff is accused of overprescribing.

In one case, the board said, Marjenhoff ordered several addictive drugs for a 17-year-old patient who showed clear signs of addictive behavior. The doctor neither checked with the boy's parents, nor confirmed some of the maladies he purported to suffer, the board said. The patient wound up needing inpatient addiction treatment. The board said she prescribed addictive drugs to patients who were also going to two partners in her medical practice.

Marjenhoff could not be reached for comment. She used to work at the Knoxville Area Community Hospital, but hospital officials said she no longer is there. The board set a hearing for Aug. 3.

The board also took action in other cases:

  • Dr. Kumar Mullangi, 39, of Burlington was accused of incompetence. Regulators said that he misdiagnosed problems in several patients and that he frequently discouraged patients from seeking second opinions. He also is accused of failing to keep patient records up to date and of ignoring their requests that he transfer their records to other physicians. Mullangi did not reply to a request for comment. Jim Scott, office manager of Burlington Urology, where Mullangi practices, said the business can't say much about the matter. A hearing is set for Aug. 3.

  • Dr. Henry Snead, 52, of Waterloo was accused of failing to follow through with an agreement he signed to settle competency questions last year. The board said Snead failed to to complete an education program to address complaints that he mishandled patients who had problems with their weight, addictions or mental health. The board also said he falsely indicated on his office letterhead and on his resume that he'd earned a Ph.D. from Notre Dame. A hearing was set for Aug. 3. Snead declined to comment.

  • Dr. Lance Wessling, 57, of Cedar Rapids has agreed to pay a $2,500 fine to settle allegations that he failed to fulfill a promise to have his work monitored by another physician. Board documents say personal problems led Wessling to enter a confidential state assistance program in 2001. As part of that program, he was supposed to find a "worksite monitor" to keep track of his behavior. He now has agreed to serve two years' probation, during which he has promised to continue taking psychiatric medications and to abstain from taking other prescription drugs unless they are ordered for him by another doctor. Wessling's lawyer, Gary Shea, said the issue involved Wessling's personal health.

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