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Prescription Fraud: HS 11153

Licensed medical doctors, nurse practitioners, pharmacists, and psychiatrists commonly write prescriptions in San Diego County and the State of California. There has been a lot of media attention with the epidemic of opioid overdose in the country from drugs such as oxycodone (OxyContin), hydrocodone (Vicodin), and morphine. Other prescription drugs have also generated a lot of attention, such as Xanax, Valiums, Adderall, and Ritalin. These prescriptions may bring these medical practitioners under the increased scrutiny of law enforcement if they suspect the prescriptions are being written for an illegitimate purpose.   

HS 11153 states in part:

A prescription for a controlled substance shall only be issued for a legitimate medical purpose by an individual practitioner acting in the usual course of his or her professional practice. The responsibility for the proper prescribing and dispensing of controlled substances is upon the prescribing practitioner, but a corresponding responsibility rests with the pharmacist who fills the prescription. The following are not legal prescriptions:

(1) an order purporting to be a prescription which is issued not in the usual course of professional treatment or in legitimate and authorized research; or

(2) an order for an addict or habitual user of controlled substances, which is issued not in the course of professional treatment or as part of an authorized narcotic treatment program, for the purpose of providing the user with controlled substances, sufficient to keep him or her comfortable by maintaining customary use.

If convicted of these charges the medical practitioner can face up to one year in county jail or prison time. The practitioner will also have to the deal with the agency that issued the license – for example, the California Medical Board. The agency will determine what action, if any, should be taken on the license. Business and Professions Code Sections 490-494.6 is the statute the agency will typically use to request a denial, suspension, or revocation of a license.

Because the consequences are so severe, it is important to have an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side, protecting your rights. If you have been charged or are under investigation for HS 11153, contact Kern Law, APC today. We provide a free, confidential consultation.