Queensland doctor disciplined over ADHD treatment
A Sunshine Coast psychiatrist has been disciplined for prescribing a potent drug, after diagnosing three people with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
An expert found insufficient evidence for Philip Bird to diagnose ADHD and prescribe the stimulant dexamphetamine for a "complex mental health patient'' in his mid-40s.
The man remained on the drug of dependence for more than eight years, Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal heard.
The Medical Board of Australia originally brought disciplinary proceedings against Dr Philip Bird in 2014, in relation to 12 patients, but before a hearing reduced the allegations to three patients.
Dr Bird, a psychiatrist for 22 years who developed special interests, including ADHD, has been working under conditions since 2013.
He estimated he would have seen more than 1500 ADHD patients between 2002 and March, 2017..
Two medical experts considered Dr Bird's diagnosis of ADHD in a female patient, 81, was "questionable'' and dexamphetamine treatment was inappropriate, the tribunal heard.
The woman had an eating disorder and a lifelong history of anxiety and depression, with multiple unsuccessful trials on psychotropic drugs.
She only used a low dose of dexamphetamine, recognised for ADHD treatment, for a week.
The experts found insufficient evidence for Dr Bird to diagnose ADHD and prescribe
dexamphetamine for a male patient, 51, who had been a mental health unit inpatient.
The man who had been treated by Dr Bird for three years for major depression and anxiety and had a complex mental health history, stopped taking the drug within less than a month.
Dr Bird diagnosed ADHD and prescribed the drug for a "complex mental health patient'', 47, after interviewing him six times.
The man, an engineer who had a history of social anxiety disorder, chronic sleep problems and previous major depressive disorder, was on dexamphetamine for more than eight years.
Dr Bird accepted that there were insufficient evidence to warrant the diagnosis and prescribing the drug was inappropriate for the two male patients.
The Board said Dr Bird made diagnoses of ADHD with either inadequate or questionable evidence and obtaining a second opinion would have been wise.
References from fellow practitioners spoke of his dedication to his patients and willingness to seek advice and guidance from colleagues.
As Dr Bird had complied with conditions that he obtain second opinions for some adult ADHD patients since 2013, the tribunal did not impose any new conditions.