The state Board of Physicians Tuesday suspended the license of a Salisbury pain doctor, who the board said had not been using proper safeguards in prescribing opiates.

Separately, state health officials had suspended Dr. Brent R. Fox's authority to write prescriptions for opiates and other controlled dangerous substances last week after their own investigation showed he was prescribing drugs in amounts outside of standards and was not conducting thorough exams of patients.

The new action means the doctor can't practice medicine in Maryland for now. The doctor had been referred to the state by a managed-care organization with which Fox was affiliated, and the state has become more aggressive in tackling abuse of highly addictive painkillers.

Fox had been operating Peninsula Pain Management in Salisbury. The state and the board will hold hearings in coming weeks on the matter.

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