DEA Issues Immediate Suspension Order for LA Doctor
FEB 05 -- (LOS ANGELES) – On February 4 2009, Timothy J. Landrum, Special Agent in Charge of the Los Angeles Field Division, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) announced the Immediate Suspension of the DEA Certificates of Registration for Carlos P. Estiandan, M.D.
The action today was to suspend Dr. Carlos P. Estiandan’s DEA Certificates of Registration in accordance with an Immediate Suspension Order and pursuant to Sections 303 and 304 of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA), Title 21, Sections 823 and 824. The DEA’s investigation of Dr. Estiandan has determined that his continued registration to prescribe controlled substances constitutes an imminent danger to public health and safety.
“Prescription drug abuse remains a serious problem throughout our country,” said Timothy J. Landrum, DEA Special Agent in Charge. “Many obtain these dangerous drugs from doctors prescribing with no medical need. It is unfortunate that someone would abuse their position of trust to prey on those who are vulnerable to the abuse of these powerful and addictive drugs.”
On July 23, 2008, DEA arrested Los Angeles physician Dr. Estiandan at his Reseda, California clinic. Dr. Estiandan has been charged in Los Angeles Superior Court with 13 felony counts in violation of California Health and Safety Code § 11153(a). Twelve of the counts involve undercover purchases of controlled substances, and one count involves a California Medical Board investigation into the death of a patient in December 2006.
A joint DEA, Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department, California Medical Board and California Bureau of Medi-Cal Fraud & Elder Abuse investigation began in 2004, after investigators received information that Dr. Estiandan was allegedly issuing prescriptions for various controlled substances, primarily Vicodin and Promethazine with Codeine, for no medical necessity. During the investigation, officers conducted undercover office visits, receiving prescriptions for various controlled substances, including Vicodin and Valium, with no medical necessity.
The DEA received large numbers of complaints about Dr. Estiandan from pharmacies throughout the Los Angeles area. According to DEA databases, in June 2008, Dr. Estiandan was ranked number two in the United States among all DEA Registrants, including hospitals, in the number of controlled substance prescriptions issued.
Dr. Estiandan will be given an opportunity for an administrative hearing, and after the hearing, the DEA Deputy Administrator will make a final decision on whether his DEA Certificates of Registration should be permanently revoked. This decision will be published in the Federal Register.