JAY — A doctor who practices in Jay was prohibited from prescribing pain medication after he failed to appropriately regulate the controlled substances, according to the Maine Board of Licensure in Medicine.

Dr. Leslie C. Harding was reprimanded and issued a conditional license to practice medicine in Maine after a review of complaints, according to a legal settlement signed by Harding and the state agency’s board.

Harding, who specializes in internal medicine, admitted to violating certain standards of care for the diagnosis and treatment of chronic pain, specifically by prescribing controlled substances without appropriately monitoring usage, the legal agreement states.

Harding conceded that the state agency had enough evidence to prove he failed to meet standards for:

* Advising a patient’s obstetrical providers that he was prescribing methadone during pregnancy.

* Conducting pill counts or random urine toxicology tests to determine the patient was not diverting her medication.

* Failing to recognize or respond to escalating doses and early refills of controlled substances.

The reprimand prohibits Harding from prescribing controlled substances for chronic pain, unless he has a chronic pain patient in skilled nursing facilities or long-term care facilities, in hospice care, or who has metastatic cancer, the agreement states.

Harding would have his license to practice medicine in Maine suspended or revoked if he fails to comply with the prohibition, as well as other terms of the agreement.

Harding, 61, declined to comment on the reprimand or legal agreement, calling it a legal contract he signed because it found violations that are true.

“I am still in practice and I plan to continue to practice medicine,” he said, referring to his medical practice in Jay that he has had since 1978.

The medical licensing board that issued the reprimand is made up of six physicians and three public members appointed by the governor. Disciplinary actions taken by the board are available to the public either by phone request at 287-3601, or on the board’s website at ww.docboard.org/me/me_home.htm.

David Robinson — 861-9287

[email protected]

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