When you decided to become a doctor, you expected there to be new challenges every day. However, you were expecting challenges to your brain — not to your good reputation.
Each year, many hard-working, well-intentioned doctors inadvertently find themselves accused of prescription fraud. Often this involves opioids, which are one of the most commonly abused prescription drugs. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over 11 million U.S. citizens said they had misused them. Yet, they are also a highly valuable tool in any physician’s arsenal. They can help those who suffer chronic pain live a more bearable life.
Some people have become very good at faking pain to fool doctors or at keeping a straight face when lying about why they need them. You could issue prescription painkillers in good faith to someone who sits in your office doubled over in apparent pain. Or you could give an increased supply to a regular patient who tells you they are going away on vacation and need more than usual to last until they return.
The problem is that as a doctor, you have no way of knowing what happens to that prescription once it leaves your office. If the patient chooses, they can fill it and hand the opioids over to someone else in exchange for money. There is a whole criminal network dedicated to obtaining and moving these prescription drugs. If the law enforcement authorities investigate the supply chain, they could end up knocking on your door.
If you are accused of prescription fraud, you need to seek legal help. Just because the drugs may have come from you, that does not mean you did anything wrong.