Are You a Doctor Accused of Prescription Fraud?
San Diego Drug Offense Lawyer Representing Medical Professionals
Physicians have the legal authority to prescribe patients powerful drugs that could be dangerous if abused. For this reason, physicians can end up facing serious repercussions if it determined that they have been writing prescriptions for individuals who do not actually need them. This is commonly referred to as prescription fraud. A doctor might be accused of taking bribes for false prescriptions, or simply just providing prescriptions in a way that does not meet the standards of his or her profession.
When doctors are found guilty of prescription fraud, they can end up suffering from criminal penalties, and they can also potentially lose their medical licenses or receiving other professional disciplinary actions. This could potentially ruin a physician's career. Pharmacists can also be negatively impacted when they are accused of filling prescriptions that they knew to be fraudulent. I represent medical professionals who are facing prescription fraud allegations. At my law firm, Kern Law, APC, I understand that there are many doctors and pharmacists who end up unfairly suffering because of the deceptive acts of certain patients. I am a San Diego drug offense attorney who can provide you with aggressive defense!
California Laws Concerning Prescription Drug Fraud
According to California's Health and Safety Code §11153, physicians can only prescribe controlled substances for legitimate medical reasons and within the usual course of their professional practice. This law states that both physicians and pharmacists have a legal responsibility to properly prescribe and dispense of controlled substances. Illegal prescriptions are defined as the following:
- A prescription that was issued in a way that failed to meet the physician's usual professional course of treatment; or
- A prescription for a drug addict for the purpose of meeting that person's addiction (outside of actual professional treatment
Penalties for Prescription Drug Fraud in California
A conviction for issuing or filling an illegal prescription can result in a sentence of a year to three years in jail or prison and/or a fine of up to $20,000. When physicians and other medical professionals are accused of being involved large-scale prescription fraud operations (including illegitimate pain clinics called "pill mills"), they can end up facing more serious charges—even federal charges—which can lead to harsher penalties. Examples of illicit prescribing practices include issuing a prescription without first examining the patient or performing due diligence, prescribing a drug that the doctor knows is not medically needed, prescribing excessive amounts of a drug to one patient and prescribing controlled substances without the appropriate license.
In addition to the law mentioned above, California Health & Safety Code §11157 prohibits any person from issuing a prescription that is false or fictitious in any way. When physicians are accused of breaking these laws, and other California laws related to prescribing practices, they can be at risk of being investigated by the Medical Board of California and other state agencies, and of having their medical licenses suspended or revoked. Our law firm also provides legal representation to other individuals who are facing prescription fraud charges, including patients.
Having a Strong Defense Plan in Place
If you are a medical professional accused of fraudulent prescribing or filling prescriptions, it will be vital for your personal and professional future that you secure a strong defense plan. With the help of a competent attorney, it might be possible to show that you truly believed that your patient had a medical need for the prescription drug and that you believed you were acting according to the appropriate professional standards of your field. There are many patients who try to dupe physicians by "doctor shopping," a practice that involves seeing multiple doctors without their knowledge in order to obtain prescriptions for non-medical needs.
Contact my office so that I can use my years of experience to help you challenge your charges and any professional disciplinary actions that are pending against you!