Regular readers of our Philadelphia healthcare licensing defense blog know that we habitually caution doctors and others to tread softly when it comes to violating any of the many rules and regulations on which your license depends.
However, as we all know, in this life it is easy to make mistakes. Because it's easy to make mistakes, it can be easy to lose your license.
One of the routes traveled by some physicians who have found their licenses suspended or revoked is lined with violations of federal laws regulating the distribution of drugs, especially pain medications. There are doctors who are afraid of prescribing powerful painkillers because patients can become addicted to opioids and wind up abusing medications intended to treat legitimate medical issues.
In other situations, patients have resold prescription medications in violation of the law. Federal Drug Enforcement Agency agents and media attention can swivel the spotlight onto the prescribing physician, raising questions about whether he or she did something illegal, is involved in the drug trade, is an addict, etc.
Patients with chronic pain issues have long complained of the difficulty in finding doctors who will regularly prescribe needed opioids. "Time and time again we get calls from people where their physician has refused to prescribe any more opioids," the executive director of the American Chronic Pain Association said several years ago.
She said doctors are afraid of having their licenses threatened. The physicians know that license defense can be a difficult process requiring the assistance of an attorney experienced in complex licensure matters.