Most Tennessee residents may know that people can be charged with drug crimes for things involving a variety of illegal substances such as cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine. However, it is important to know that it is also possible to face criminal charges for acts involving prescription medications. Many drugs that require prescriptions to obtain are controlled and prescribers are required to follow certain guidelines when handing out prescriptions for them.
Today a group of medical professionals has been charged with federal drug crimes for their alleged involvement in the prescribing of medications for pain management. The group of eight defendants includes physicians, nurse practitioners and physician's assistants. The health care providers all worked for a husband and wife who owned a pain clinic in Tennessee between 2009 and 2010 and are said to have written fraudulent prescriptions for pain medications.
Prosecutors say that the pain clinic was really a front to mask and support the owning wife's substance addition. The clinic was raided by authorities in 2010 but the providers were not charged until in 2014. Some have argued that the arrests violate patient-provider privilege but that has not stopped the charges from moving forward. It is unknown what penalties may be faced if the defendants are eventually convicted.
People in a situation like this may find it helpful to talk with an attorney who understands the nuances of criminal charges. Getting guidance about the law may help defendants make important decisions about a criminal defense.
Source: The Tennessean, "Feds prosecute Tennessee pain clinic workers as drug dealers," Jamie Satterfield, Nov. 22, 2016