Florence doctor has past accusations of over-prescribing pain meds


Florence doctor has past accusations of over-prescribing pain meds

MISSOULA, Mont. - Dr. Chris Arthur Christensen has a past full of accusations for over-prescribing pain medications.

The doctor was the center of a raid at Big Creek Family Medicine and Urgent Care in Florence Tuesday.

Ravalli County Sheriff Chris Hoffman said the raid came after a 2-year multi-agency investigation into Christensen's prescription writing practices. And it's not the first time he's come under fire.

In 1998 an Idaho State investigation found Christensen prescribed painkillers and narcotics to several patients without ever treating their underlying medical issues.

Then in 2001 Christensen agreed to voluntarily give up his license after the Idaho State Board of Medicine accused him of prescribing drugs that were linked to at least two overdose deaths. In addition to giving up his license, Christensen had to pay a $2,000 fine and go through a mandatory pain management course. He was still licensed to practice medicine in Washington and Montana.

Christensen made the move to Montana in 2005, opening Big Creek Family Medicine and Urgent Care in Victor, south of Missoula.

Just over a year later Christensen was indicted on three federal counts for allegedly over-prescribing drugs when he practiced in Idaho in the early 2000s. After two trials, a jury cleared Christensen of those charges in 2010.

Since then he's been practicing in the Bitterroot, expanding his office to Florence in November 2011. The same office investigators raided Tuesday.

Most recently Christen was reprimanded by the Board of Medical Examiners in Montana when he refused to turn over medical records for a Victor patient. In 2013, he was asked to apologize for what the board called ‘unprofessional conduct.'

No charges have been filed against Christensen in the Florence case; the investigation is ongoing.

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