SPOKANE - One of Spokane's most successful dermatologists is being investigated by the state for claims that he is illegally using and dispensing controlled substances.
The Medical Quality Assurance Commission has accused Dr. William Phillip Werschler of illegally using and dispensing controlled substances. According to the investigation Dr. Werschler was using or providing both pharmaceuticals meds as well as street drugs including cocaine.
He has, however, not been charged with any crime related to these claims.
Dr. Werschler, the founder of the Spokane Dermatology Clinic, has been a licensed doctor for 20 years. Investigators say during procedures in his 5th Avenue office the doctor uses the powerful pain killer Fentanyl and the sedative Versed but has not kept accurate records about how the drugs were dispensed.
"Federal and state law requires a physician, if he has drugs in his office to maintain very careful and detailed records of the drugs that come into his office and go out his office that are used during procedures," Mike Farrell with the Washington Medical Quality Assurance Commission said.
When Dr. Werschler could not provide all those records he allegedly asked his staff to "falsify drug logs and provide them to the investigator."
Commission members also believe the doctor has been self-medicating.
"The commission is alleging that Dr. Werschler used controlled substances himself, inappropriately and provided them to others, outside of their medical care," Farrell said.
Investigators won't reveal their how they can prove Werschler's drug use but say those controlled substances included Hydrocodone, marijuana and cocaine.
Werschler can continue to see patients while taking 45 days to respond to the assurance commission in writing.
"Doctor Werschler has a chance to formerly respond to these charges and when he does so a hearing date will be set at which time he can defend himself against the charges," Farrell said.
Late Wednesday afternoon Dr. Werschler's attorney responded for comment on this story, saying that all of these charges are false and the product of the doctor's divorce and severed business relationships.
He added his client has passed numerous drug tests and has no criminal history.