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Being the man to see for Xanax, Valium and pain pills cost a Miami doctor $27,000

Ophthalmologists, who deal with eye diseases and surgery, have little to do with anxiety or back pain. So state investigators took a long look at a board certified Miami ophthalmologist who dished out prescriptions for Valium, Xanax, Roxicodone and Percocet.

That ended with Dr. Kenneth Pearlberg slapped with a $10,000 fine and charged $17,655 in Florida Department of Health case reimbursement costs as part of a punishment handed down last week.

Pearlberg, whose official license address is a rented Hollywood high-rise condominium unit, also must complete 25 hours of continuing medical education on drug prescribing. The 78-year-old has been licensed in Florida since Dec. 18, 2000, and remains licensed in New York. His Ohio and Pennsylvania licenses listed on his Florida online license profile both expired in 2004.

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Though Pearlberg has worked up and down South Florida, from Delray Beach to Miami, he saw the patients referred to in the state complaint when he worked out of his West Miami-Dade office at 7949 NW Second St.

A 32-year-old man with lower back pain came to Pearlberg in May 2009. The lower back isn’t even on the same side of the body as ophthalmologists’ area of expertise. Also, the complaint said, Pearlberg didn’t document doing “an adequate physical examination.” But, the complaint says, until January 2012, Pearlberg prescribed some combination of Percocet, 5 mg Valium pills, 1 mg and 2 mg Xanax pills and Roxicodone in 15 mg and 30 mg strengths.

A 34-year-old woman the doctor saw from March 2011 through January 2012, came to him “with complaints of upper back, neck and knee pain.” The patient “denied any psychiatric complaints, including anxiety/panic attacks.” Pearlman prescribed Xanax, Percocet, Roxicodone in 15 mg and 30 mg strengths and Valium in 2 mg and 5 mg strengths.

From November 2010 through January 2012, a 32-year-old woman came to Pearlberg with “chronic lower back pain with occasional sciatica” and no psychiatric issues. Pearlberg prescribed 15 mg and 30 mg Roxicodone pills and 2 mg Xanax hits. This didn’t change when a urine test Pearlberg ordered in March 2011 for the patient came back positive.

A 32-year-old man came to Pearlberg from January to January in 2011-2012. The patient brought lower back pain complaints, but none about his mental health. Without a documented exam, the complaint said, Pearlberg prescribed 15 mg and 30 mg Roxicodone pills and 2 mg Xanax pills.

Pearlberg “prescribed inappropriate and/or excessive quantities of controlled substances,” to each patient throughout their treatments, the complaint said.