Chiropractor Gets Around State Prescription Law

Brandon Credeur Uses Out Of State Doctor To Write Prescriptions For Patients

Chiropractor Brandon Credeur is the subject of an investigation by the state medical board in the wake of a CALL7 investigation exposing his questionable business practices.

CALL7 Investigator Theresa Marchetta heard from dozens of patients who said they were duped by Credeur’s claims of curing thyroid and diabetes disorders.

Susan Echelberger is one of them.

"Metronidazole 500 mg tablets, generic for flagyl. It just says see attachment," said Echelberger as she struggled to read her prescription bottle.

It is a prescription medication that is hard to pronounce to treat something that is even harder to imagine.

"They told me I had a parasite," said Echelberger.

Echelberger got the diagnosis at Brandon and Heather Credeur's Functional Endocrinology Center of Colorado.

She is a former patient who initially went to see Credeur seeking help for her diabetes, responding to their ads in the Denver Post and on local television stations.

"What were you thinking when they said you had a parasite?" asked Marchetta.

"Why wouldn't I have known this before? I've had stool samples before, why wouldn't it have shown up?" Echelberger said.

That was in the spring. Echelberger followed the prescription directions but has no idea if it worked.

"There was no follow up to see if the parasite was actually gone," she told Marchetta.

"Did they say what type of parasite or what it was doing to you?" asked Marchetta.

"No. Just a parasite and that's probably why I couldn't lose weight," she said.

We wanted to know how the Credeurs or any of the other chiropractors in their Denver office could obtain prescriptions for their patients.

"Can a chiropractor write prescriptions?" Marchetta asked Richard Morales, director of the Healthcare Section of the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies.

"They cannot, not in the state of Colorado," said Morales.

Morales heads the state agency that oversees doctors, physicians and pharmacists.

He said very few professionals can legally write prescriptions.

"Physicians, dentists, advance practice nurses with prescriptive authority, veterinarians, seven in total," he said.

But not chiropractors.

"They would send it to a doctor in Ohio to get the prescription," said Echelberger, explaining the process.

"So, who sent the paperwork to this doctor?" asked Marchetta.

"I don't know. I have no idea," said Echelberger.

"Did you send your paperwork or fax it to this doctor in Ohio?" asked Marchetta? "No, I did not," said Echelberger.

"Did you ever talk with this doctor in Ohio?" Marchetta asked.

"No, I did not," said Echelberger.

"Did you ever see this doctor?" asked Marchetta.

"No. Never met him. Don't know who he is," said Echelberger.

The CALL7 Investigators had no trouble tracking down Dr. Jim Smith, an osteopathic physician in Ohio who charged a fee for each prescription he wrote.

Problem is, he is not licensed in the state of Colorado.

"Did they explain why they wanted this prescription written from a doctor in Ohio?" asked Marchetta.

"The just had this person that would write the prescription and they would take care of all the details," said Echelberger.

In web video tutorials uncovered by the CALL7 Investigators, Brandon Credeur instructs other chiropractors on how to utilize Dr. Smith's services.

"Ok, so for treating the pathogens, the bacterial infections, worms, parasites, I use a doctor by the name of Dr. Jim Smith. He's an osteopathic physician in Ohio," said Credeur in the web video. "He helps doctors all over the country help their patients by prescribing for them."

Credeur gives Dr. Jim's web address in the video so other chiropractors can access the patient forms and then goes over the fee.

"He does charge for this service. The fee is $150 that goes directly to the patient. The patient pays for that," Credeur said. "That's how we handle prescriptions here."

Morales said that is not how it's handled in Colorado.

"If something is being set up just to get around the prohibition of one other position that can't prescribe? That would be of great concern," said Morales.

"We're here for patient safety. That is of grave concern. I'm sure anyone practicing in the state has the right qualifications to do so, have gone through the proper procedures to be licensed here. That is of grave concern," he said.

"The board has put a policy out there that says you need to have that patient-physician relationship," Morales continued, "Communication."

"Did you have any kind of a doctor-patient relationship with Jim Smith?" Marchetta asked Echelberger.

"No," she said, "I never met him. To this day I have not met him."

It is a situation Morales said the medical board would investigate.

Echelberger is managing her diabetes on her own after spending thousands on the Credeurs' treatments that she said never worked.

"I'm hoping that people will wake up and not be so gullible as I was," she said.

The CALL7 Investigators tried to reach Dr. Smith for comment in Ohio via phone and email, but he did not respond to requests for an interview.

He is, however, named in a growing lawsuit against the Credeurs in connection with allegations of conspiracy.

More than 30 former patients in Colorado are seeking damages.

Credeur will be defending himself in court and in front of the Chiropractic Board this summer where he is facing 25 counts that could cost him his license.

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