LEWISBURG, Tenn. - For the first time since our initial story aired about the closure of the North Alabama Pain Clinic, we're hearing from a representative of the man who owned the practice, Dr. Mark Murphy.
Dr. Murphy announced his retirement to his patients in 2016, but told his patients a new doctor was going to purchase the clinic, and that everyone could stay with the practice.
That deal fell through, and now hundreds of patients are left searching for a new pain clinic to serve them
Friday, we went to his Tennessee practice that's still open, in hopes of talking to him. Murphy wasn't there, but his attorney called WHNT News 19 over the weekend.
His attorney, Daniel Murphy, who is also Dr. Murphy's son, called us and said, in no uncertain terms, that Dr. Murphy would not agree to an interview and that WHNT News 19 should not come to his Tennessee practice to ask him for one.
He referred us to a Facebook message, sent to us by one of his employees at the clinic, Amber Tapscott.
Amber wrote in part,
He never abandoned these patients abruptly. They all received final prescription which stated in bold print "Final Prescription December 2016" which can be verified by their pharmacy. Due to the circumstances beyond his control in which the negotiations with Valley Pain and Spine failed, the new doctors were not going to take over the practice. Immediately after, Dr. Murphy's staff notified patients and the result is 95℅ of the patients have signed and picked up their medical records.
As WHNT News 19 has reported from the beginning, it does appear Dr. Murphy's team contacted some of his patients, but many were left in the dark, including Lisa Boyer.
“They have my house phone, they have my cell phone. As a matter of fact, my cell phone number did change and that was three months ago, and I went in and watched them change it on their records," says Boyer.
All of this comes as Dr. Murphy is facing an official complaint with the Alabama Board of Medical Examiners, and has a hearing date set for March.
The complaint doesn't lay out what he's being investigated for, but a non-profit news organization that tracks prescription drug abuse, ProPublica, ranks Dr. Murphy number one in the country for the amount of Oxycodone he prescribes patients.
The Executive Director of the Alabama Medical Board of Medical Examiners tells WHNT News 19, because Murphy let his Alabama medical license expire, there's not much they can do to punish him here. However, patients can file their complaints with the State of Tennessee.
Murphy's attorney says his client does not have any intention of doing an interview with WHNT News 19, but that he would contact us if that changes in the future.
We'll be eagerly awaiting that call.