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The Courier-Mail
Psychiatrist Phillip Bird accused of inappropriately prescribing drugs and conducting ‘human research trials’
By Vanda Carson
November 14, 2015

Psychiatrist Philip Bird

Psychiatrist Philip Bird

THE psychiatrist who prescribed a cocktail of drugs to a driver who crashed his car and killed twin girls and their grandmother prescribed nearly 7000 tablets of “kiddy speed” to another patient.

Maroochydore psychiatrist Phillip Bird prescribed 1500 tablets of the drug, in 5mg tablets, to the patient on each of two occasions in 2011, according to a disciplinary complaint lodged by the Medical Board of Australia in the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal.

It said a further 1000 tablets were prescribed in other consultations, making a total of 6600 tablets.

The Medical Board believed Dr Bird inappropriately prescribed dexamphetamine to this patient and 11 others – including the driver of the car, Anthony Thomson – between 2003 and 2011 and that he prescribed too much of the drug or increased their dosage too quickly.

He was also accused of inappropriately conducting “human research trials” on eight patients and of incorrectly diagnosing nine adult patients with ADHD.

Thomson, 46, was intoxicated on at least three prescribed drugs when he ploughed his car into a car containing five-year-old twins Grace and Jessica Hornby and their grandmother Denise Mansell at Woombye on the Sunshine Coast on May 8, 2009. Thomson was also killed.

The complaint alleged Dr Bird prescribed Thomson dexamphetamine “when it was inappropriate to do so” because of Thomson’s other drug use.

But Dr Bird argued he acted appropriately and said there was scientific evidence that treatment of ADHD with psychostimulants can lower drug addiction in the longer term.

He said he “carefully ­monitored” Thomson.

Dr Bird, who champions the use of dexamphetamine in the treatment of ADHD, unsuccessfully sought to suppress the entire case in the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal.

He has denied the claims made by the board.

The board argued “patients and others are entitled to know the truth” about Dr Bird’s prescribing practices.

The case in the QCAT will be heard on February 29.