A Birmingham doctor placed under strict conditions due to his unorthodox methods has been allowed back to work.
After more then five years of restrictions, the General Medical Council (GMC) has allowed Dr Gordon Skinner to return to normal practice.
Dr Skinner, aged 69, who runs a private practice at Alcester Road, Moseley, was previously found guilty of misconduct for “recklessly” prescribing four patients with thyroid hormone replacement drugs.
A GMC panel ruled his prescribing had been “unnecessary, irresponsible” and risked harm to patients after hearing Dr Skinner’s practice was not supported by mainstream UK doctors.
But at a hearing, a GMC panel lifted conditions and ruled: “The Panel is satisfied the procedures you have in place to safeguard those patients referred to you are adequate.
“You are now free to practise without restriction.”
Former University of Birmingham lecturer Dr Skinner gained praise as a scientist for being involved in preparing the world’s first vaccine against herpes with his clinical assistant Mrs Afshan Ahmad.
He has also worked on vaccine trials against Aids and superbug MRSA at Vaccine Research International in Moseley.
But his treatment methods using drugs thyroxine and Armour Thyroid courted controversy and resulted in conditions placed on his medical licence.
Conditions included that he log all of his work, only accept new patients if referred by registered GPs and the GMC keeping tight checks on his patients every six months.
At the latest hearing, Dr Thomas Akintewe, Consultant Diabetologist, reviewed 662 of Skinner’s patients over the past three years and raised concerns that Dr Skinner gave drugs thyroxine and Armour Thyroid to some patients who in his judgement had no clinical need for it.
The expert witness said Armour Thyroid was unlicensed in the UK and was also concerned that Thyroxine given to patients with general symptoms could lead to problems of osteoporosis and heart rhythm irregularities.
But the panel decided that Dr Skinner was still fit to practise without any restrictions.
There are no formal guidelines over the accepted procedure for medicating patients with thyroid deficiency.
Dr Skinner said he was aware of the dangers of prescribing thyroid replacement to patients and believed Armour Thyroid could be useful to certain patients.
He added that the use of unlicensed drugs in the UK was commonplace.