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The Continued Scrutiny of Opioids: What Physicians and Pharmacists Need to Know

The war on opioids continues unabated, most recently with the Appalachian Regional Prescription Opioid Strike Force conducting another roundup. The roundup, which included the execution of search warrants, involved the charging of 60 people, including 53 medical professionals, with illegally prescribing controlled substances, which further supports the growing sentiment that the indiscriminate prescribing of opioids is the current hot-button item in medicine.

The basic standard applied by authorities to individuals and entities who prescribe or fill prescriptions for controlled substances is that “the prescription for a controlled substance must be issued for a legitimate medical purpose by a practitioner acting in the usual course of professional practice.” There are many factors that the DEA and other authorities analyze when determining if conduct complies with this rather vague standard. Familiarity with those factors and the manner in which those factors are applied not only assist you with taking care of the patient, but it helps you protect yourself as well. We at Frier Levitt can assist in putting together a compliance plan that will direct you to the safe side of that analysis.

The current crisis in opioid addiction afflicting America cannot occur without physicians’ prescriptions. Consequently, the authorities consider those who prescribe and fill prescriptions as the gatekeepers to the crisis. As a result, physicians and pharmacists are being held accountable. If you prescribe or dispense controlled substances, contact Frier Levitt immediately for compliance plans, regulatory advice and representation in investigations and prosecutions in the highly scrutinized area of opioids.