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Duluth doctor reprimanded for improper prescriptions

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The Minnesota Board of Medical Practice has reprimanded a Duluth physician for unprofessional and unethical conduct, improper management of medical records and inappropriate drug-prescribing practices.

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Dr. Fredrick E. Ekberg, 75, prescribed medications for family members without keeping proper documentation. At its Jan. 12 meeting the board restricted Ekberg's medical license for a minimum of two years. His current license expires on June 30.

According to board documents:

In December 2011, the state received a complaint alleging that Ekberg prescribed medications, including excessive quantities of narcotics, for several family members for an extended period of time. An investigation found that Ekberg had authorized prescriptions for several family members over a two-year period, and that he had failed to document the prescriptions in clinic records; failed to document physical examinations, diagnoses or medical histories; and failed to document communications with each family member's treating physician.

At a July 26 meeting with the Complaint Review Committee, Ekberg admitted that he had written prescriptions for family members during 2010 and 2011, and that he failed to document the prescriptions, but "stated that the prescriptions were medically appropriate and used for therapeutic purposes on previously diagnosed conditions."

Ekberg told the committee that he had stopped authorizing prescriptions for family members as of January.

He "acknowledged the concerns presented by his prescribing practices to family members and expressed regret for his actions," the board's order said.

In addition to reprimanding Ekberg, the board ordered him to:

# Successfully complete a preapproved boundaries course.

# Read a model policy for pain control and a guide for responsible opioid prescribing.

# Prescribe Schedule I through Schedule V controlled substances only in a hospital setting. He is prohibited from prescribing such controlled substances to himself or family members.

Ekberg works at Radiological Associates. He did not return a call seeking comment.

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