Only part of a physician's job is to prescribe medication. Yet, it is one of the most controlled aspects of the medical industry. To stave off the expansion of the national opioid crisis, the federal government is cracking down on excessive prescriptions and watching medical providers closely. Being accused or suspected of such an action means medical professionals must face their state or jurisdiction's licensing board—and sometimes worse.
Doctor Convicted on 11 Counts of Unlawful Distribution
A federal jury convicted an Ohio doctor on 11 counts of unlawful distribution of a controlled substance. Information from the U.S. Department of Justice said the 20-year pharmacist, physician, and psychiatrist prescribed opioids and benzodiazepines to his patients, including Subutex, which has a high risk of abuse.
Prosecutors in the case stated the Columbus-area doctor prescribed more pills for patients who paid more at their office visits and dismissed reports that the patients were selling their medications. Although the doctor has yet to be sentenced, they have already had their license suspended.
Even though physicians have gone through well over a decade of schooling before practicing their craft, their careers can come to a halt with just one allegation. The evidentiary bar to levy charges against a practitioner is far lower than in a court of law, and summary suspensions are often handed down with little to no due process.
States Stringently Restrict Physician Prescribing
You may think that doctors can prescribe medicine how they see fit. While that may be true with uncontrolled substances like topical creams and gastrointestinal remedies, that's not true with controlled substances. Typically, prescribing has quantitative limits set by the federal government. though states may restrict them further. Moreover, prescribing must correspond with specific diagnoses.
For instance, Ohio has different limits for opioid prescriptions for acute and chronic pain. For adult patients with acute pain, medical providers may prescribe no more than seven days' worth of medication. If limits are breached or records of treatment aren't maintained, physicians and other healthcare employees are at risk not only of official reprimand but losing their licenses.
What Should You Do When Your Medical License Is Threatened?
Not every medical provider caught for overprescribing is gaming the system for patients to sell medication. Sometimes, even an inaccurate note regarding controlled substances on a patient's file during a long day seeing dozens upon dozens of people can lead to stringent action. State licensing boards can hand down punishments up to and including license revocation.
With how each state differs in treating patients with opioids and acute versus chronic conditions, you need experienced assistance when allegations arise. Get in touch with a team that has assisted thousands in maintaining their medical credentials and good standing with state and jurisdictional licensing boards. Contact the Lento Law Firm online or call 888-535-3686 to maintain your career and reputation.