Documents: Doctor accused of lipo in pole barn was dispensing himself pain pills

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ALLEGAN, Mich. — The doctor accused of performing liposuction procedures in a rural pole barn was also apparently mishandling controlled substances coming into his office, according to documents recently obtained by FOX 17.

In April, the Allegan County Health Department put out a public notice warning potential patients about Dr. Bradley Bastow.

In it, they said Dr. Bastow may have been giving liposuction to patients in a pole barn.  Allegan County Health Officer Angelique Joynes warned people to seek immediate medical care if they had surgery at the site and showed any signs of infection.

FOX 17 got several hundred pages of documents through a Freedom of Information Act request this week from the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA).

The documents outline the agency’s discovery, among other things, that Dr. Bastow was disregarding a litany of procedures for handling controlled substances.

“The conditions of the office of Dr. Bastow were unsanitary, not sterile and cluttered,” a May report says.  “In one medication storage area there was a veterinary injectable medication stored with human use medications.”

The agency outlined several issues with the way Bastow’s office was storing and documenting the medication on hand.

He told the investigator on one instance that he had been dispensing the painkiller Tramadol for his personal use.  Dr. Bastow apparently failed to document this.

He also told the agency that he had been accepting controlled substances in “plastic bags” from patients. The report said he had plastic bags of Adderall (ADHD medicine), Norco (opiate painkiller) and Darvocet (painkiller).

Dr. Bastow told LARA that he was “unaware controlled substance medications could not be given to him by patients.”

The report says he was dispensing medications without the proper Michigan Drug Control Location license.  He also apparently failed to keep a required log of what he had dispensed.

The investigator for LARA ends the overview of her findings with, “based on the observations of this investigator, Dr. Bastow was practicing medicine, storing, administering and dispensing medications, including controlled substances without regard for public health and safety.”

LARA suspended Dr. Bastow’s osteopathic physician’s license in May.  They have also filed an administrative complaint with the state Attorney General alleging the following violations:

  • Performing liposuction procedures in unsanitary conditions in an unfinished pole barn.
  • Improperly disposing and storing medical waste.
  • Improperly dispensing and recording the dispensing of controlled substances.
  • Improperly co-mingling human and animal drugs.
  • Taking a controlled substance from the facility for personal use.

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