Document Detail

Prosecution of physicians for prescribing opioids to patients.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  17329989     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Many patients in pain receive inadequate doses of opioids. Fear of government action against prescribing doctors is one cause of this inadequate treatment. The purpose of the study was to assess criminal prosecutions by reviewing press reports of indictments or trials of doctors for opioid offenses during 2 years. Forty-seven cases were reported involving 53 doctors. Fifteen cases were for offenses unrelated to medical practice. In 32 cases, the charge was based on determining the prescriptions for opioids were outside the bounds of proper medical practice. Only two of these cases were evaluated by a state medical board before indictment. Five doctors were indicted for murder related to drug overdose deaths. None were found guilty of murder. Prosecutorial excesses and hyperbole were common. The state medical board's review of appropriateness of prescribing opioids when a doctor-patient relationship is presumed to exist could decrease inappropriate criminal indictments and reduce this component of fear of prescribing adequate opioid therapy for patients in pain.
M M Reidenberg; O Willis
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't     Date:  2007-02-28
Journal Detail:
Title:  Clinical pharmacology and therapeutics     Volume:  81     ISSN:  0009-9236     ISO Abbreviation:  Clin. Pharmacol. Ther.     Publication Date:  2007 Jun 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2007-05-16     Completed Date:  2007-07-27     Revised Date:  2008-11-21    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0372741     Medline TA:  Clin Pharmacol Ther     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  903-6     Citation Subset:  AIM; IM    
Department of Pharmacology, Joan and Sanford I. Weill Medical College of Cornell University, New York, New York, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Analgesics, Opioid / therapeutic use*
Drug Prescriptions
Drug and Narcotic Control / legislation & jurisprudence
Pain / drug therapy*
Physician's Practice Patterns / legislation & jurisprudence*
Physicians / legislation & jurisprudence*
Specialty Boards / legislation & jurisprudence
United States
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Analgesics, Opioid
Comment In:
Clin Pharmacol Ther. 2007 Jun;81(6):797-8   [PMID:  17505492 ]
Clin Pharmacol Ther. 2007 Jun;81(6):799-801   [PMID:  17505493 ]
Clin Pharmacol Ther. 2007 Jun;81(6):805-6   [PMID:  17505495 ]

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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