While the opioid epidemic continues to sweep through Pennsylvania and across the nation, you may suddenly find yourself facing accusations of illegally prescribing controlled substances. At The Law Offices of Brian E. Quinn, we understand how patients may attempt to deceptively acquire narcotics and other drugs for unintended purposes. Sometimes, a licensed medical practitioner may be accused of wrongdoing even while following the mandatory regulations and standards for treating a patient. Some other doctors, unfortunately, have also allowed themselves to become swayed by their patients’ neediness and have bent the rules regarding controlled substances.
In May of 2019, a Pennsylvania physician had his professional license suspended over allegations that he illegally prescribed methadone for himself and his patients. The Tribune-Democrat reported that the 79-year-old doctor pleaded guilty to one count of administering controlled substances. The accusations against him, however, were much more severe.
A report sent to the office of the attorney general accused the physician of allegedly asking a female patient for a nude photograph to determine whether she needed treatment for pain. A search warrant and an investigation then uncovered that he had prescribed methadone without being properly licensed and registered, as noted in the Tribune-Democrat reporting.
The physician initially faced four felony charges for illegally prescribing methadone. He was, however, able to plead guilty to just one felony charge and received a sentence of probation. If he had gone through with a jury trial and was found guilty of all four felony charges, the doctor may have received a 60-month prison sentence. He was instead sentenced to five years of probation and can no longer practice medicine after voluntarily surrendering his license.
Our page on criminal charges provides more information about how you may defend your professional license against accusations of illegally prescribing controlled substances.