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Illinois suspends medical license over prescribing

Published: Monday, Aug. 11, 2014 4:17 p.m. CDT

CHICAGO – Illinois regulators have suspended the license of a Chicago psychiatrist who allegedly prescribed a risky drug to thousands of Medicare and Medicaid patients for illegal drug company payments.

The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation took the action Friday against 71-year-old Dr. Michael J. Reinstein, suspending his license for three years. Reinstein would have to reapply to have his license reinstated.

Reinstein's prescribing was scrutinized during a time he cared for patients in approximately 30 different nursing homes in Chicago and the area.

He became the largest prescriber in the United States of the antipsychotic drug clozapine. The drug is considered a last resort for elderly patients because it's associated with an increased risk of death.

Reinstein didn't immediately return a phone message to his office seeking comment.

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