In several states health care practitioners become the subject of administrative prosecutions because of prescription of pain management medication or medication which is otherwise strictly regulated either by the FDA or by the state’s regulatory authorities.

Several state Boards are catching up to the fact that there are no specific guidelines in the prescription of pain management medication and that this situation gives rise to arbitrary and capricious prosecutions. Some state medical and Dental Boards have adopted specific guidelines regarding pain management and the method and manner of regulated drug prescription and dispensation. Moreover, states have specific prohibitions, statutes and regulations governing the dispensation of regulated drugs. If the practitioner is in the business of prescribing regulated medication he/she must be familiar with the regulations and guidelines governing the same.

Prosecution and disciplinary charges stemming form allegations regarding illegal drug prescriptions are quite common and they take place at the state and federal level. The most common grounds for this prosecution is that the medication was not prescribed for a valid medical purpose. Consequently, most of these cases boil down to the credibility of expert testimony arguing over whether prescriptions where issued for a valid medical purpose.

Any criminal conviction or plea, and often civil settlements will result in action against the practitioner’s license.

The best way avoid problems in this area is to adhere to the pain management guidelines in your state, or if there are none, the general pain management guidelines. Essentially, all of these guidelines have most of the following required elements:
(A) A detailed evaluation and assessment of the patient and his/her medical condition; (B) a written treatment plan; (C) Patient’s Documented informed consent; (D) Consultation with other appropriate heath care practitioners, or the patient’s Primary Care Practitioner; (E) periodic assessment and monitoring of the patient and his./her medical condition; (F) Accurate and complete medical records
complying with the state complying with the state’s statutes and regulations; (G) Compliance with state and federal controlled substance laws and regulations.
Along with competent criminal counsel, my office offers legal services defending health care practitioners in drug prescription litigation as well as in subsequent license disciplinary proceedings associated with the same.

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