In an effort to combat the widespread overuse and misuse of opioids, the Pennsylvania State Board of Pharmacy and the Board of Medicine approved new guidelines for distributing and prescribing opioids. The state has worked with organizations including the Pennsylvania Medical Society, the American College of Emergency Physicians, the Pennsylvania Pharmacists Association and the Pennsylvania Dental Association to produce a half dozen sets of guidelines on opioids in various settings. The guidelines are voluntary and are intended to assist practitioners in changing the pattern of over prescription for chronic pain.
Pennsylvania’s overdose death rate ranks among the worst in the nation. The Pittsburgh Post Gazette reported in an recent article that Pennsylvania lagged in disciplining healthcare providers who over-prescribe. (Pittsburgh Post Gazette, May 23, 2016). With the heigthened awareness of opioid over-use, I anticipate increased scrutiny over practitioners’ prescribing patterns by law enforcement officials and their respective licensing boards
Should you be contacted by law enforcement officials or board investigators, do not speak with them until you contact an attorney who specializes in professional licensing and criminal prosecutions. If I can be of assistance to you, please call me.