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How medical professionals can avoid prescription drug charges

Prescription drugs are commonly abused in the country nowadays, including in Louisiana. To combat this problem, which often ends up killing abusers, laws governing the proper dispensing of prescription drugs such as painkillers have been enacted. Congress has passed a variety of laws that physicians and pharmacists must follow, and the Drug Enforcement Administration is charged with enforcing those laws by keeping prescription drugs out of the hands of people who do not have prescriptions for them. Health-care professionals who prescribe or dispense such controlled substances should make sure they understand and follow current laws to avoid getting charged with prescription drug offenses.

What are the most serious violations of prescription drug laws? One of the most common criminal offenses is signing blank prescription pads. Physicians should sign and date their prescriptions to help foil criminal intentions. Pharmacists should strictly follow allowable refill limits to help prevent abuse and fraud. Failure to follow regulations under the Controlled Substance Act can lead to criminal charges. Conviction can mean the loss of DEA licensing, prison time and fines. Suspension or loss of a state license is also possible.

What should someone charged with an offense do? Medical professionals throughout Louisiana have been charged with a variety of crimes related to prescription drugs. Anyone who is dealing with such charges should fight them to avoid the severe consequences that could come with a conviction. Start by determining the severity of the charges, where they came from and the possible penalties of a conviction. A criminal defense attorney can then help establish a criminal defense strategy.

Allegations of drug crimes make for challenging cases. Anyone who has been charged with such an offense, regardless of its nature, needs legal assistance to explore every possible avenue that could lead to reduced charges or a case dismissal.

Source: virtualmentor.ama-assn.org, "Fighting prescription drug abuse with federal and state law," accessed on Nov. 24, 2014

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