The younger brother of shadow Chancellor George Osborne broke medical rules by prescribing anti-psychotic drugs to a friend addicted to cocaine, a disciplinary hearing has heard.
Adam Osborne, 33, stands accused of “inappropriate” conduct after making the prescription. He is also alleged to have prescribed a girlfriend the contraceptive pill while a psychiatry trainee, and to have given a prescription for the anti-smoking aid Zyban to a family member. Dr Osborne was temporarily barred from practising medicine when the charges against him first emerged in 2008, but now faces being struck off.
It is alleged that Dr Osborne did not record any details of the prescriptions in question on medical records and did not inform the GPs of those concerned. Medical guidelines set out by the council also state that doctors may only make prescriptions for family and friends in emergencies. Although he admits the charges against him, Dr Osborne argues that he is now fit to continue practising.
The case will come as an unwelcome embarrassment to the shadow Chancellor, as well as his parents, Lady Osborne and Sir Peter, the multi-millionaire founder of the wallpaper designers, Osborne & Little. Dr Osborne resigned his post when the allegations emerged, but was later sacked for gross misconduct.
All the alleged irregular prescriptions date back to Dr Osborne’s tenure as a trainee psychiatrist at Wythenshawe Hospital near Manchester, between June 2006 and May 2008. The General Medical Council (GMC) panel heard that Dr Osborne was “misleading and dishonest” in attempting to use a false name to secure anti-psychotic drugs for a friend. It was told that on 12 May 2008, a friend known only as Miss B, was admitted to the accident and emergency department of Manchester Royal Infirmary after suffering from “psychotic symptoms associated with the side effects of cocaine”.
However, it heard that the woman then discharged herself and headed to seek the help of Dr Osborne at Wythenshawe Hospital. She was said to be “hysterical” when she contacted Dr Osborne and “was not sure what to do”. He is said to have told colleagues that Miss B had refused to go to her doctor or to be admitted to a psychiatric ward.
Both he and Miss B did not want to use their real names to make the prescription for the drugs so used an “entirely fictitious name”, the disciplinary panel was told. The plan was scuppered when a computer system did not allow the prescription to go ahead under the false name. But he then attempted to secure the drugs elsewhere. Bernadette Baxter, for the GMC, told the hearing: “The couple left the hospital and made their way to a pharmacy close to Osborne’s home where he wrote a private prescription for the necessary drugs — haloperidol, an anti-psychotic, and iorazepam, a tranquilliser.
“The GMC’s case is that Dr Osborne’s contact was misleading and dishonest,” she added. “More so when you know it was a quite deliberate act designed to deliberately conceal the identity of the patient. It is clear that the doctor knew that if he was writing a private prescription the details of the patient ought to be on the face of the document.”
Dr Osborne was initially suspended by the GMC for 18 months in November 2008. However, he was allowed to return to work last year subject to strict conditions. He is now working as a psychiatrist at the John Howard Centre in Hackney, east London. The GMC claims Dr Osborne’s conduct was “inappropriate, misleading and not of the standards expected of a reasonably competent medical practitioner”. The hearing continues.Reuse content