Medical Board Accuses Local Doctor of Over-Prescribing Powerful Drugs

Dr. Vincent Kater is accused of negligence, excessive prescribing and for not maintaining accurate records.

East County resident Kristin Greene died when she was just 42. That tragedy prompted her family to ask questions about how doctors treated her. Specifically, the huge numbers and kinds of prescription medications they gave her.

See our original story here

Greene’s sister, Lisa Bond said, “This is really scary stuff and it killed my sister.”

Bond told NBC7 Investigates her sister was addicted to prescription pain-killers, sleeping pills, and sedatives.

Rehab failed and she tried to kill herself several times by overdosing on prescription opioids.

“When she died it was awful,” Bond said. In November 2013, she succeeded, ending her life with a toxic cocktail of prescription pills.

In all, 64 prescriptions were written by nine medical professionals in the last 5 years of her life.

“We found pills everywhere,” said Bond.

One of her doctors, Vincent Kater, still practices in the College Area.

Greene saw him the most and he prescribed her most of the medication, which was confirmed by her family and the Medical Examiner.

This month, the medical board filed an accusation against Dr.Kater, referring to Kristin as “Patient A.”

To read the accusation, click here

It alleges he prescribed her a number of medications including Seroquel and Lyrica.

He also prescribed Xanax on a "near-monthly basis” increasing the dosage and quantity over time. It also states, Dr. Kater "failed to appreciate the danger” associated with the use of opiate mediations. and also said he continued to prescribe the pain medication Lyrica despite her “risk of suicide."

Bond said, “I mean if someone is coming in there with chronic pain something else needs to be done, you can’t just keep prescribing.”

NBC7 Investigates contacted Dr.Kater's at his office for comment on the accusation, but our calls were never returned.

Bond is upset it's taken so long for the Medical Board to take action against Dr.Kater.

A spokesperson for the agency told NBC 7 Investigates they didn't receive the complaint against Dr.Kater until 2015. And that "Complaints have to be thoroughly investigated for the Board to be able to meet its burden of proof."

While Bond acknowledges that many factors contributed to her sister’s suicide, she's glad the Medical Board finally filed the accusation against Dr.Kater. 

“I'm really upset. I lost my sister, I will never have a sister again so he took that away from me.”

Kristin Greene is not the only patient listed in the accusation against Dr. Kater, there are four other people.

The accusation also accuses Dr.Kater of negligence, excessive prescribing and for not maintaining accurate records. 

The Medical Board spokesperson told NBC 7 Investigates, “That Accusation is currently pending a decision. The average time for a case to be resolved after an Accusation is filed is 455 calendar days.” 

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