The Law Offices of Brian E. Quinn

Doctor's license is suspended over drug prescribing practices

The recent suspension of a doctor’s medical license may raise larger concerns among health professionals about keeping their medical licenses in good standing.

According to officials, the state licensing authority concluded that the doctor had over-prescribed prescription drugs to his osteopathic patients. The drugs included several controlled substances, such as carisoprodol, hydrocodone, oxycodone and oxymorphone.

The officials who reviewed the doctor’s actions established a baseline of professional conduct by reviewing the practices of the doctor’s peers. Their inquiry revealed that the doctor had prescribed more controlled substances, and in higher doses, than any other medical professional in the state.

In the third quarter of 2016, for example, the doctor prescribed an average of 87 controlled substances each workday. Consequently, the licensing authority determined that the doctor’s prescriptions had been made without medical necessity. In addition, some of the drug combinations may have been dangerous to the health of the doctor's patients.

As a law firm that has provided legal advice to many health professionals, we understand how much is at stake when facing a claim filed with the Pennsylvania Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs. A doctor’s livelihoods depends upon having his or her medical license in good standing. For that reason, we recommend that a health professional consult with a law firm that focuses on professional license defense at the outset of any ethical or professional inquiry.

It is easy to pass judgment upon a doctor’s professional judgment in hindsight. However, a difference of opinion does not necessarily constitute grounds for medical license suspension. In today’s example, some important questions to ask might have been whether any of the doctor’s patients were actually injured, and/or whether the patients suffered from chronic conditions warranting the medications. Our law firm will ask the questions needed to build a strong professional license defense.

Source: Macob Daily News, “Doctor's medical license suspended for over-prescribing drugs,” Feb. 27, 2017

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