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Julio Diaz, Doctor at Center of Alleged Overprescribing Case, Loses Medical License

A Santa Barbara physician accused of overprescribing pain medications has had his medical license revoked and is no longer able to practice medicine.

Julio Diaz
Julio Diaz

Julio Diaz, 63, of Goleta, faces a federal criminal complaint of distribution of controlled substances outside the scope of professional practice and without legitimate medical purpose. He was arrested Jan. 4 by a federal drug task force, which also raided and shut down his family-practice clinic at 510 N. Milpas St.

At his federal court appearance later that month, Diaz pleaded not guilty to 12 counts of overprescribing prescription drugs, and he recently was released on $30,000 bail. While awaiting trial, he is serving house detention at his Cannon Green home in Goleta.

A decision by the Medical Board of California to revoke Diaz’s license became effective on Friday. He has held a medical license in California since 1981.

According to an order signed by medical board executive director Linda Whitney, Diaz was “grossly and repeatedly negligent as well as incompetent in patient care, excessively prescribed narcotic medications to patients, and failed to maintain adequate records.”

The document contains the testimony of two doctors serving as expert witnesses on the case, with one saying that Diaz “engaged in an extreme departure from the standard of care when he prescribed clearly excessive amounts of narcotic analgesics.”

Diaz, who is facing at least one wrongful-death civil suit by the family of one of his former patients, is expected to go to trial in May.

Under the terms of his release, Diaz must submit to intensive pre-trial supervision, his travel is restricted to California and he is not permitted to have any contact with any person who might be a victim or a witness in the investigation.

Noozhawk staff writer Lara Cooper can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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