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California Briefing / Los Angeles

Testimony assails Smith's internist

October 28, 2009|Harriet Ryan

Anna Nicole Smith's internist prescribed dangerous amounts of addictive opiates and sedatives even after she refused his recommendation of substance abuse counseling and stopped going to his office for appointments, an expert told a judge Tuesday.

The expert, a physician specializing in the treatment of chronic pain patients, testified that Dr. Sandeep Kapoor provided excessive amounts of the medications without obtaining a complete medical history, sending out for lab tests or even trying to determine whether anything was actually wrong with Smith.

Dr. James Gagne's testimony came a day after another physician expert criticized the prescribing practices of Kapoor's co-defendant, psychiatrist Khristine Eroshevich, as excessive and without a legitimate medical purpose. Both doctors, as well as Howard K. Stern, Smith's confidant and lover, have pleaded not guilty to charges of illegally furnishing Smith with prescription drugs.

Gagne, who reviewed Kapoor's conduct for the state medical board, said there were repeated instances of excessive prescribing in the three years leading up to the Playboy playmate's 2007 fatal overdose at age 39.

-- Harriet Ryan

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