Patient Of Doctor Benjamin Rosario's
Says Her Pain Is Real

April 28, 2005 COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa -- A frustrated patient is speaking out about a painful problem she faces, now that her doctor is under investigation.

Dr. Benjamin Rosario faces 13 charges of prescribing powerful painkillers to people with minor pain. He has been suspended and can't work at his Council Bluffs office.

But some of his patients say their pain is real, and they don't know where to turn.

"I never go a day where I have no pain, but you know, I'm able to get to a bearable amount of pain," said Rosario's patient, Kelley Hook.

Hook has been living with fibromyalgia for almost 15 years. It's a condition that can create constant pain. She was referred to Rosario about 10 years ago. His arrest is distressing her:

"Panic. The panic that, 'Oh my God, what am I going to do if this isn't cleared up soon,'" Hook said.

Investigators said some patients of Rosario's were drug abusers with a history of prescription fraud.

Since the doctor's arrest, KETV NewsWatch 7 has heard from several of his patients, telling stories similar to Hook's. Hook is a nurse, and describes Rosario as a good physician. She said Rosario did not push pills, and instead, often prescribed therapy for her.

"But unfortunately, there's people out there that will go in and say, 'We hurt,' because they want the high. And they want the medication for no other reason then they want that buzz going," Hook said.

Because of that, she said, many doctors are skeptical about patients with chronic pain. She said the ones who do believe are skeptical about Rosario's patients.

"If I was a doctor, I would be a little hesitant to go in and start writing prescriptions to back up a doctor that just got arrested," Hook said.

Hook is worried about finding a new doctor, and the future of her fibromyalgia.

"It's sad, because in 10 years, I have finally gotten to a point where I feel like I'm treating it and keeping it pretty well under control, and I'm completely losing that control," Hook said.

Another concern is that the patients are having trouble getting their medical records.

Rosario's daughter said her father's reputation is being smeared.
Doctor charged with illegally prescribing painkillers

5/25/05 COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa - A Council Bluffs doctor is charged with prescribing powerful painkillers without proper examinations of patients.

Dr. Benjamin Rosario was arrested and his medical license suspended by the Iowa Board of Medical Examiners.

Federal prosecutors filed 13 charges against Rosario, accusing him of prescribing drugs for patients who had only minor complaints of pain.

Prosecutors say that in many cases, Rosario did not perform a physical exam during patients' visits.

Rosario was released on 50-thousand dollars bond.

A woman answering his phone says he won't have any comment on the charges.

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