A Red Bank podiatrist has been temporarily barred from practicing over an allegation that he improperly prescribed highly addictive narcotics without legitimate medical purpose to 13 people, including one who “was later found dead in a hotel room at his son’s wedding,” according to an announcement by the New Jersey Attorney General’s office Monday.
Dr. James Ludden, who had an office at 238 Maple Avenue, was one of two doctors who were the subject of disciplinary actions by the state Board of Medical Examiners for allegedly prescribing painkillers to people outside the scope of his practice, the AG said.
According to the announcement, the board began investigating Ludden “after receiving information that he was engaged in the indiscriminate prescription” of controlled dangerous substances.
From the announcement:
The investigation determined he had authorized prescriptions to 13 individuals for medications outside the scope of his podiatric license, including testosterone, Adderall, and generic versions of the drugs Xanax and Ativan. Ludden also prescribed large quantities of CDS, including fentanyl, morphine sulfate, and generic versions of the drugs Xanax and Dilaudid, to a male patient and his 93-year-old mother, according the Consent Order. Ludden admitted he had prescribed CDS in the elderly woman’s name as a “favor” to the patient, even though Ludden had never examined her. The patient was later found dead in a hotel room at his son’s wedding.
Under the terms of the Consent Order, Ludden’s license will remain temporarily suspended until further order of the board.
In the second action, Dr. Thomas Newmark, a Cherry Hill psychiatrist, agreed to surrender his license to be deemed a permanent revocation to resolve investigative findings that he indiscriminately prescribed controlled dangerous substances to his patients without a legitimate medical purpose, according to the announcement.