News Feature

Blue Hill
Originally published in The Weekly Packet, June 21, 2018
Former Blue Hill doctor’s license suspended over pill prescriptions
11,600 Oxys prescribed to one ‘patient’ in 2017

by Anne Berleant

A doctor who moved his private medical practice from Blue Hill to Cabin John, Maryland, in 2016 has had his Maine medical license suspended for 30 days, effective June 12, by the Maine Board of Licensure in Medicine. Dr. Brandt E. Rice formerly operated Coastal Family Medicine in Blue Hill.

In May, Brandt was charged by the District Court of Maryland for Montgomery County with four counts of unlawfully obtaining a prescription. A May 4 news article published online by WJLA/ABC7, of Washington, D.C., outlining the Maryland investigation and Rice’s ties to Maine alerted former peninsula patients, two of whom called the Maine board with complaints.

Rice’s Maine medical license was set to expire on December 1, 2019. He applied for a renewal on January 16, 2018, updating his address to Concierge Medicine of Maryland and Maine in Cabin John, Maryland.

Reviews of records of Maine Prescription Monitoring Program confirmed that Dr. Rice had issued over 200 prescriptions for Oxycodone, an opiate, and other controlled substances, totaling over 27,000 pills, between June 2014 and December 2017 to one patient, Aaron Rice, for whom he listed Brooklin and Brooksville addresses.

Rice picked up the prescriptions, paying cash. Pharmacists at the Blue Hill Rite Aid confirmed to a Maine Board of Licensure detective that Dr. Rice issued numerous prescriptions for Oxycodone and Hydrocodone for Aaron Rice.

The detective was unable to locate anyone with the name Aaron Rice with the date of birth given by Dr. Rice, and also found that the Brooksville address listed does not exist.

Rice was charged in Montgomery County, Maryland, after a Rite Aid pharmacist, suspicious of Dr. Rice’s request for a Oxycodone prescription to be filled for Aaron Rice, alerted Montgomery County Police, according to WJLA, which cited Maryland court documents in its reporting.

In all, Rite Aid’s internal computer database listed 316 prescriptions for Aaron Rice between January 2011 and December 2017, mainly for Oxycodone and Hydrocodone. In 2017, 11,600 30-mg Oxycodone were prescribed for the patient, or about 225 tablets per week.

The Maine Board of Licensure in Medicine cites both the online WJLA news report, copies of interviews with Rice by Montgomery County police, and copies of pending criminal charges against Rice in Montgomery County in its order of immediate suspension.

The Maine board plans to schedule an adjudicatory hearing with Rice, who has not responded to emails or calls to his Maryland addresses, the order states. The temporary suspension ends on July 12, at 11:59 p.m.