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L.A. doctor who once prescribed drugs to Winona Ryder has licence revoked
Thursday December 11, 2002 - 4:26:44 EST

LOS ANGELES (AP) - A doctor who had his medical licence revoked last week frequently catered to the prescription drug demands of celebrities, including actress Winona Ryder, a newspaper reported.

Jules Mark Lusman, 49, examined some patients only briefly before prescribing drugs, according to a report by the Medical Board of California. Singer-actress Courtney Love was among the patients named in the Tuesday story by the Los Angeles Times. Pat Kingsley, a spokeswoman for Love, did not immediately return a call from The Associated Press.

The medical board said Lusman's stated speciality was laser surgery. However, in its report, the board detailed allegations that Lusman catered to the demands of wealthy or famous drug-seekers for prescription narcotics that would otherwise have to be obtained on the street.

Candis Cohen, a spokeswoman for the board, which licences and regulates the state's 112,000 doctors, said it's possible that criminal proceedings will be launched against Lusman.

Jane Robison, a spokeswoman for the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office, declined comment, saying an investigation was under way.

Lusman called the decision to revoke his licence "grossly unfair" in an interview Monday with the television program Inside Edition from his mother's home in South Africa.

He also denied any wrongdoing to the medical board while asserting that some of his patients suffered from intractable pain.

Ryder had 37 prescriptions filled by 20 doctors from January 1996 to December 1998, according to Ryder's probation report, released Friday.

Lusman lost his licence the same day a Los Angeles County judge sentenced Ryder, 31, to three years probation, community service and drug and psychological counselling for shoplifting nearly $6,000 US in designer merchandise from Saks Fifth Avenue in Beverly Hills.

Ryder's lawyer, Mark Geragos, said he knew of no other investigations involving doctors who prescribed drugs to her.

"All were completely legitimate," Geragos said. "Lusman was legitimate, but I don't know what his problems are. The other doctors are well thought of."

© The Canadian Press, 2002

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