The unauthorized prescribing of controlled substances by physicians and non-physicians violates both state and federal law. So, what steps should physicians take if they discover that their name and/or Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) number is being used illegally? Find out in the California Medical Association’s medical-legal document #0515, "Drug Prescribing: Unauthorized."
According to the Medical Board of California and the other agencies involved, a physician who has knowledge that his or her name and DEA number are improperly used should report such incidents to the Federal Drug Enforcement Administration, the California Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement, and to local police authorities. Medical-legal document #0515 includes contact information for these agencies, and offers guidance on how to respond when the suspected culprit may be an allied health professional or office employee.
The DEA also requires that all registered prescribers provide effective controls to guard against theft and diversion of controlled substances, such as stolen prescription pads or controlled substances stored on site. Physicians should review these controls and safeguards to ensure they are in compliance with state and federal law.
Medical-legal document #0515, "Drug Prescribing: Unauthorized," as well as the rest of CMA’s medical-legal library (formerly CMA On-Call), is available free to members at CMA’s online resource library. Nonmembers can purchase medical-legal documents for $2 per page.
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