Physician accused of drug charges stops writing prescriptions

Because physicians have a license to prescribe controlled substances, they always face a risk of being accused of abusing the privilege. If a physician is too lenient in prescribing controlled drugs or if he is easily subject to manipulation by drug criminals, he can be duped or misled into committing criminal offenses. In Louisiana, a doctor who faces drug charges relating to the writing of prescriptions may face relinquishment of his prescription-writing privileges in addition to the possibility of other more serious punishment.

This was the situation posed by the recent arrest of a male 32-year-old Mandeville general practitioner by the Drug Enforcement Administration on 42 counts of violating the controlled substances act. Several other Louisiana enforcement agencies were also involved in the ongoing investigation that included this arrest. Authorities served him with a drug possession charge that asserts he possessed a dangerous substance by misrepresentation, fraud, forgery, deception or subterfuge.

A DEA spokesman declined to describe the details of the drug charges against the doctor because the case is still under investigation. It's therefore unknown whether the drug charges relate to the doctor's writing prescriptions for third persons, but his relinquishment of his DEA prescription-writing privileges shortly after the arrest would appear to indicate that possibility. It's also possible that the charges include assertions that he obtained drugs for himself by fraudulently writing prescriptions.

In Louisiana, when a doctor is arrested on drug charges apparently involving prescription drug fraud, authorities will pressure the practitioner to give up his DEA prescription privileges right away. That may or may not be a good choice for the doctor, especially if the investigation is not completed or there is a substantial possibility that he is innocent of the charges. Sometimes, however, it can be a desirable option that satisfies drug enforcement agents, while at the same time allows the accused to continue his medical practice without further pressure or interference pending the outcome of the prosecution.

Source: gobogalusa.com, "Doctor booked into Washington Parish Jail," Marcelle Hanemann, Feb. 22, 2013

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