DEA Raids Dr. Forest Tennant’s Pain Clinic

DEA Raids Dr. Forest Tennant’s Pain Clinic Pain News Network  – November 16, 2017 By Pat Anson, Editor

Agents with the Drug Enforcement Administration have raided the offices and home of Dr. Forest Tennant, a prominent California pain physician, confiscating patient records, appointment books and financial documents.

In a lengthy search warrant, the DEA alleges that Tennant prescribed such high doses of opioid pain medication that his patients must be selling them.

So, the DEA got a search warrant based on their assumptions about his patients’ medical needs and their assumptions about what his patients are doing with their medication – no proof, no evidence, just assumptions. 

 It also alleges that Tennant took financial kickbacks from Insys Therapeutics, a controversial Arizona drug maker that is under federal investigation.

An affidavit by a DEA investigator makes no mention of a patient overdosing or being harmed in any way while under Tennant’s care.

“It’s very lengthy and it goes into things in my past which are totally irrelevant but are obviously designed to smear me and make me look like a bad person. I see what they’re doing,” Tennant told PNN.

Tennant, who has not been charged with a crime, believes Tuesday’s raid is part of a broader effort to smear not only his reputation, but to discredit and intimidate other doctors who prescribe opioids to pain patients.  

They’re not just going after me, they’re going after patients,” said Tennant. “I think the country better understand what they’re doing here. They’re saying that regulations don’t count, standards don’t count, and they’ll decide who can get drugs and how much.

“I’d be worried about every pain patient right now, not just mine.”

Also named in the search warrant is United Pharmacy of Los Angeles and pharmacist Farid Pourmorady of Beverly Hills, the owner of United. Court documents indicate the DEA’s investigation began in 2015 and targets a “drug trafficking organization” (DTO) that includes United and “multiple physicians whose prescriptions are filled at United, focusing in particular on Tennant.”

“The crimes perpetrated by the DTO include the sale of powerful prescription narcotics such as oxycodone and fentanyl, along with other dangerous and addictive controlled drugs often sought in combination with narcotics, based on invalid prescriptions issued by practitioners including Tennant,” the documents say.

“United has been submitting millions of dollars in fraudulent Medicare prescription drug claims, namely, claims for the cost of filling invalid narcotic prescriptions, including those issued by Tennant.”

What would be an “invalid” prescription?

It seems the DEA is now making the medical decisions about Dr. Tenant’s patients.

Tennant is a revered figure in the pain community because of his willingness to see patients with intractable chronic pain who are unable to find effective treatment elsewhere or have been abandoned by their doctors.

At 76, Tennant could have retired years ago, but regularly sees about 120 patients at his modest pain clinic in West Covina, a Los Angeles suburb. Many patients travel from out-of-state and some are in palliative care.  

Tennant, along with his wife and office manager, Miriam, jokingly refers to their clinic as a “mom and pop” operation, although in actuality he practices on the frontlines of pain management and has developed treatment protocols for difficult and incurable conditions such as adhesive arachnoiditis, Ehlers-Danlos syndrome and Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD).

Those treatments sometimes require high doses of opioid pain medication, but they also include hormone replacement, anti-inflammatory drugs and other therapies that help patients reduce their use of opioids.

“I understand what (DEA is) after. They figure if they go after the big guy, then no one will prescribe,” Tennant told PNN.

“If they’re going to hurt me, no doctor is going to be willing to prescribe or do anything. That’s what they’re attempting to do. They’re attempting to neutralize me if they can. And I think there needs to be an outcry.

“The time has come. Is this country going to treat pain patients or not? Are they going to let people die in pain or are they not?”

Insys Payments

Tennant acknowledges getting about $126,000 from Insys Therapeutics, payments that were primarily for speaking at events sponsored by the company.

Several company officials, including Insys’ billionaire founder, have been indicted on federal charges that they bribed doctors with kickbacks and lucrative speaking fees to get them to promote Subsys.  

Tennant says he stopped taking payments from Insys in 2015 and was dropped from the company’s speaker’s bureau last year.

“What money we did make, we put in the clinic and used it to support the patients,” he said.

Tennant says he can still operate his clinic, but has been informed by the DEA that his charts and patient records will not be returned directly to him.

This is a gross violation of HIPPA. As a pain patient, our medical records are apparently public property, just because they include opioid prescriptions.

Tennant is asking all of his patients to contact the DEA and request a copy of their medical records so that he can continue treating them.

The DEA’s contention that Tennant’s patients are selling their opioid medication is preposterous, according to 64-year old Gary Snook, a Montana man who lives with adhesive arachnoiditis, a painful inflammation in his spinal nerves.

Snook has a genetic condition that makes him a “high metabolizer” of opioids – meaning he has to take a high dose to get any kind of pain relief. His current daily dose is still about three times more than the highest amount recommended by the CDC.

“I’m not selling mine. I’m just taking it to survive because it’s the only thing that works for my pain. I’ve tried all the modalities and unfortunately this is the only thing that works,” Snook said.

I’m sickened by this news.

The actions of the DEA are those of a police state and are undoubtedly a very effective method of threatening all pain doctors prescribing opioids.

14 thoughts on “DEA Raids Dr. Forest Tennant’s Pain Clinic

  1. scott michaels

    OUR POLICE STATE HAS GONE TOO FAR! DR TENNANT IS I WELL RESPECTED DR.
    I HOPE HE SUE THEM FOR MILLIONS. THIS DEFORMATION OF CHARACTER IS EGREGOUS.
    AT LEAST HE HAS A VOICE THAT HE WILL.BE ABLE TO TAKETO A PUBLIC FORUM . THIS IS DUSGUSTING THE DEA IS THAT DESPERATE. APROXIMATELY 2 MILES FROM THAT OFFICE. HEROiN AND CRACK ARE PEDDLED LIKE iCE CREAM CONES. Yet the dea ignores them. DR TENNENT ALTHOUGH I WAS NOT KUCKY ENOUGJ TO SEE HIM IS AN ASSET TOTHE COMMUNITY AND I HOPE EVERY DR AND PATIENT IIS IN COURT SUPPORTING HIM AND HIS PRACTICE.

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  2. BirdLoverInMichigan

    It’s a sad state of affairs when the legal use of a substance is dictated by an invalid premise.

    What proof is behind the raid of doctor Tennant’s office?

    How can the illegal misuse of opioids by some be used to derail our constitutional rights? All civil rights groups around the country better take note: remain silent while pain patients’ rights are trampled, and you’ll one day find out how it feels.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Zyp Czyk Post author

      I’m stunned that this happened. It’s clear they are trying to intimidate all doctors from prescribing opioids.

      We pain patients with our unsolvable pain problem are clearly not wanted – I’m starting to feel like I’m living in a police state.

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  3. scott michaels

    Send thos list to every politician and civil right office amd bews agency prooving the epidemis is a lie.
    WE ARE UNITED 100 MILLION STRONG WHO WANTS OUR VOTES!
    from Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome & Fibromyalgia
    2016 Deaths per Day & Causes: Few Rx Overdoses
    From Twitter Dystopian Novelist‏ @dystopiannovel:

    2016 deaths per day & cause:

    16,850 heart disease
    16,500 cancer
    1,315 tobacco*
    1,205 preventable hospital errors
    684 medical error
    175 OD (all drugs)
    121 suicide
    109 car accident
    101 alcohol*
    98 gun
    59 Fentanyl*
    41 heroin*
    ~40 CPP* suicide
    39 Rx opioid*
    <10 legal Rx opioid only OD

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  4. Bob Dudley

    I am a Vietnam War veteran, as is Dr. Tennant; each of us having seen first-hand the resulting pain inflicted upon humanity. He has told me that this fact was central in his career decision to focus on pain management. Sadly, the pain we witnessed was all too often the result of misjudged targeting, “friendly fire” and “collateral damage”. Such events are an ill-thought out product of government efforts engaging large groups to focus massive forces on small targets. Indeed the term, “collateral damage”, continues to be an almost daily reminder in current news reports of just how much of an oxymoron is the term “Government Intelligence”. Today, when our ill-informed government manages to bomb the wrong building or destroy civilian life, the world holds them accountable and demands the due apology for such failures to act responsibly.

    Sadly, it appears that we are now again immersed in another war taken up by our government: the war on drugs. This time against its own people. And rest assured the same ill-thought out process has now produced the same “collateral damage”. My wife, who is now an Intractable Pain Patient of Dr. Tennant, has had dozens of doctors and nearly a dozen pharmacies turn her away because they caved-in to the pressures applied upon them by the DEA. I want to not fault them, because they too have families to protect and provide for and do not want to place their liberties at risk in securing their life in these United States of America. I get it.

    But I am also reminded of the sacrifice given by those ‘names on the wall’ in the Washington, D.C. Vietnam Memorial and of the day I visited that amazingly powerful edifice. I was not prepared for the emotion that overcame me and the immediate next thought in that tearful moment of the countless, ‘un-named’, hundreds of thousands of persons who also sacrificed as much. Only one war; so many lives; so much given and for what purpose? We called it a fight for “liberty” at the time. But we seem to have squandered it all for a new definition of “liberty”. There is no security in this new liberty. I believe it was Benjamin Franklin once said: “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.”

    Dr. Tennant said it very clearly following the DEA raid on his offices. His concern was not for himself and not for just his own patients, but for all pain patients in this country. My wife and about a million vulnerable legitimate pain patients have become the new “collateral damage” in this war on drugs. It is like any other government war. They might as well all be living in a mud-hut adjacent to a Taliban mosque in Afghanistan, waiting for the next “smart” bomb. The only difference in that event would be that the government would apologize for the civilian destruction. As it now stands, our government has remained unapologetic for the civilian atrocities in its local war on drugs. Shame on them!

    Dr. Tennant is one of the bravest individuals I have ever met. He is the personification of the stuff of which this nation was formed. It doesn’t take another Benjamin Franklin to make a difference. Any person can take up the fight in defense of this war; not by arms, but by the pen, or perhaps more appropriately the ‘keyboard’. Write to your congressman, legislator and or senator.

    Liked by 1 person

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  6. R.K.S.

    Wait till Almighty GOD puts so much pain on the evil “DEA” people and they know who they are and then let them not be able to get relief and people or DRS. tell them you don’t need any opiods just go take an aspirin, and also say your faking then the shoe will be on the other foot! And then they will know what it is like to not be able to have any kind of job and or life and the pain be so bad you will wish you were dead! Come on FEDS if the DRS. are truly helping the people that aren’t abusing the medication then why won’t you all let the DRS. do what they are supposed to do! And who died and made the government and the DEA, GOD! The last time I read the bible GOD is and will be in control forever, and sooner or later GOD will get to the bottom of people hurting his people, so never loose faith, JESUS will and has always answered our prayers, that is how we found Dr. Forest Tennant! My husband was hurt on his job 18 years ago and ever since all the DRS. but one was starting to do something for him, then the INS. Co. started telling the DR. what the DR. needed to do, and that DR. stopped seeing him, then he had lower back surgery and that was a disaster, so as you all can read he hasn’t had relief or a life and job for 18 years, why are all these DRS. afraid of the DEA, and GOV. they are people just like us, if and when we and all the DRS. stand up and take a stand what can they do! You see this has gone on long enough where if you need help we the people in a FREE COUNTRY should receive the help we need, not have to beg on bended knees and plead our case as if under trial! The DRS. that are treating pain in people and aren’t hurting anybody but healing them and getting to the bottom of their problem and lowering their dose of meds in some cases,should be applauded not harassed and or arrested! All the DEA. and the GOV. are doing is driving people to use illegal street drugs, which in turn is leading these people to suicide their selves, ruin their lives, families and loose their jobs etc. You know, I think there is a lot more going on than what IS really going on! Stand firm and planted Dr. Forest Tennant, we are praying for you and all your patients, GOD will never fail us nor leave us his beloved children, so lets all pray for each other, that is how we get an answer, we have not because we ask not! GOD BLESS YOU ALL! P.S. If you read this Dr. Forest Tennant we both, husband and wife live in Va. and need to see you, these DRS. just do not care, and have no feelings for people and they just don’t understand all the different kinds of pain people can be in, they think it is all in our heads!! Again Blessings and love to all our brothers and sisters in Christ’s name!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. scott michaels

      Dont you know the dea is filled with criminals. Theyve probably already stole enough drugs and money from raids to keep them hi and rich for years.
      What other reason would they have to raid doctors offices these days. Prescription pain relievers are so OVER REGULATED THE PEOPLE THAT NEED THE MEDICINE CANT GET IT AND THE STREET JUNKIES JUST NEED TO MALE A PHONE CALL AND ITS DELIVERED TO THEM OR GO ON ANY CORNER IN ANY CITY.
      THE COPS AND DEA LEAVE THE STREET JUNKIES USING ILLEGAL DRUGS ALONE BECAUSE THE DEALERS PAY THEM OFF. GOOD DOCTORS,
      VETS AND OTHER DISABLED CITIZENS WOULDNT KNOW HOW TO.
      CARTELLS RUN THE DEA AND THE POLICE.

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