State authorities are seeking to bar five doctors, including three in South Jersey, who illegally sold prescriptions for painkillers and steroids, from being able to ever again dispense controlled dangerous substances.
Division of Consumer Affairs Director Eric T. Kanefsky filed an administrative order seeking to revoke the doctors' registrations to prescribe controlled dangerous substances (CDS).
In New Jersey, a licensed physician cannot prescribe CDS without a registration granted by Kanefsky's office.
Each doctor must provide a written explanation of why the registration should not be revoked before a hearing is held in roughly 45 days.
The order marked the second round of actions that acting State Attorney General John J. Hoffman and Kanefsky announced as they battle prescription drug abuse.
In October, Kanefsky brought similar actions against 12 doctors, most of whom were convicted in federal or state courts for offenses relating to illegally prescribing controlled substances.
In the most recent instance, four doctors were convicted of selling prescriptions for opiate painkillers; a fifth sold prescriptions for anabolic steroids.
Pankaj Agrawal, who practiced in Pennsauken, sold prescriptions for Percocet and promethazine cough syrup with codeine from January 2005 to January 2008, according to officials.
Agrawal also provided multiple CDS prescriptions in different names to the same person and exchanged prescriptions for large quantities of CDS for cash in a restaurant parking lot, among other offenses, officials said.
Agrawal, who pleaded guilty in March 2009, was sentenced to a 63-month federal prison term and required to forfeit cash and property.
Robert H. Moss, a Williamstown podiatrist, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in July 2011 to illegal distribution of oxycodone. He was sentenced to 60 months in federal prison.
Pravin Vasoya, who practiced in Sewell, sold OxyContin and Roxicodone prescriptions out of his car at several locations, including an auto store parking lot in Turnersville and a discount store parking lot in Mount Laurel, to an undercover Burlington County police detective.
Vasoya pocketed $8,000 in the transactions. He pleaded guilty to illegally dispensing CDS, and was sentenced in February 2009 to 57 months in federal prison.
A Jersey City physician and another who practiced in Middletown and in Staten Island, N.Y., also have been targeted by Kanefsky's office.
The State Board of Medical Examiners temporarily suspended the doctors' licenses and revoked them after their convictions.