Writing a prescription for a friend can lead to criminal charges

KD Law Group |

Writing a prescription for a friend can lead to criminal charges

On Behalf of Kirsch Daskas Law Group | Apr 29, 2022 | Criminal Defense 

Physicians are subject to strict rules regarding their ethics. You probably know that it is professionally questionable to treat your family or friends. The chances are good that your employer does not allow you to provide direct medical care for those that you have a pre-existing relationship with for liability’s sake.

However, because you have a prescription pad and the authority of a physician, you may want to help out a friend, neighbor or family member who needs pain relief or something to help them sleep. Writing a prescription for someone you know and trust may not seem like a big risk, but it could put your profession and your freedom at risk.

Prescription drug fraud is a serious modern issue

As medications become stronger, the rules that govern their administration and distribution have become stricter. A doctor accused of prescription drug fraud because they wrote unnecessary prescriptions for people that they know personally could face criminal drug charges and also licensing consequences.

Especially if the person that you write the prescription to does something irresponsible, like cause a car crash while under the influence of the drug, your decision to write the prescription could lead to your arrest as well. Given that you cannot control what someone does after taking the medication that you prescribed, it is crucial to always adhere to best practices for the profession and the rules put in place by your employer to protect the time and money you have invested in becoming a physician.

It can be hard to ignore the suffering of someone you know

If a family member can’t get a prescription for pain relief because of their prior criminal record or the prescribing practices employed by their primary care physician, it can be difficult to see them suffer without the treatment that they need.

Rather than risking your profession and your freedom by writing them a prescription, it may be a better approach to refer them to someone you know who will treat them with more compassion. For those who got caught up in a criminal situation because of their sympathy for a family member or friend, there may be defense options available.

Fighting back against prescription drug charges could help a physician protect not just their reputation but also their career.