University of California San Francisco doctor accused of fraudulently prescribing Ritalin

SAN FRANCISCO -- A former University of California at San Francisco gastroenterologist accused of fraudulently prescribing Ritalin over a three-year period pleaded not guilty to felony charges in court Thursday.

Christian Mathy was arrested last Friday on a warrant issued by the San Francisco District Attorney's Office after an investigation by UCSF police into a complaint from a pharmacy where Mathy had filled prescriptions.

Mathy allegedly issued 86 fraudulent prescriptions for Ritalin, a stimulant commonly prescribed for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, over a period of three years under three different aliases.

UCSF officials today said Mathy's faculty appointment was terminated following an internal investigation at the end of 2015, and he has not had any further association with the university. The charges relate to incidents occurring prior to that time.

Mathy, who is out of custody on bail, entered not guilty pleas Thursday afternoon to charges of issuing a false prescription, obtaining a controlled substance by fraud, and forgery. He is scheduled to return to court on June 19 for a pre-hearing conference.

"Our confidence in the medical profession rests with our doctors," District Attorney George Gascon said in a statement. "That confidence is undermined and the profession is cheated, however, when practitioners usurp their responsibilities for their own personal purposes."

State records show Mathy's medical license as "renewed and current" but on probation, with limits set on his practice.

Mathy is the second UCSF doctor to be arrested recently, following the arraignment earlier this month of psychiatric resident Billy Lockhart on child pornography charges.

Lockhart is also out of custody on $155,000 bail and is scheduled to return to court June 21.
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