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Illinois Doctor License Defense Lawyer for Non-Therapeutic Prescribing

Chicago physician license defense lawyer controlled substance prescriptions

Chicago Area Attorneys for Medical License Discipline Related to Prescriptions

Doctors are required to maintain a valid professional license in order to practice medicine. However, there are a variety of issues that may affect these licenses, and one common concern involves prescriptions for controlled substances. Physicians, psychiatrists, and other medical doctors may face disciplinary action to their licenses if they are accused of non-therapeutic prescribing of drugs to patients. In these cases, a doctor should work with a skilled license defense lawyer to determine the best ways to protect their ability to practice.

At Williams & Nickl, LLC, attorneys Fred Nickl and Edward Williams have over 55 combined years of experience prosecuting and defending professional licenses. Edward is a former Chief of Prosecutions for the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR), and he and Fred have represented more than 3,000 licensed professionals before the IDFPR and the Illinois Medical Board. With our experience, we are uniquely positioned to assist in license defense cases involving drug prescriptions and/or controlled substances. We represent clients throughout the state of Illinois in professional license defense cases.

Discipline for Non-Therapeutic Prescribing

A prescriber may face disciplinary action if controlled substances or narcotics are prescribed, administered, or distributed to a patient for a reason other than "medically accepted therapeutic purposes." Prescriptions should be issued in good faith, meaning that drugs should be prescribed for their intended purpose as part of the regular course of a patient's treatment. 

The IDFPR may question whether a prescriber has been issuing prescriptions for non-therapeutic purposes in the following situations:

  • Prescriptions are issued when a prescriber does not have a consistent relationship with patients.
  • Drugs are prescribed for purposes outside of a physician's normal practice.
  • A prescriber frequently issues prescriptions for the same drug for large numbers of patients.
  • Prescriptions are issued at unusual dosages or in quantities beyond what is normally prescribed.
  • There are unusual geographic distances between a prescriber, a patient, and/or a pharmacist where a prescription is filled.
  • A physician consistently prescribes habit-forming drugs to patients.
  • A prescription is issued for the purpose of exploiting a patient for the financial benefit of the physician.

If any of these activities are suspected, a doctor may not only face discipline to their medical license, but they may also be investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), which could result in the requirement to surrender their DEA Controlled Substance Registration. In addition, a doctor who issues prescriptions improperly could face criminal charges for Unlawful Dispensing of a Controlled Substance.

We have a record of success defending prescribers against disciplinary action. In one successful case, we represented an orthopedic surgeon who was accused of improperly prescribing opioids over a long period of time. We were able to negotiate a probation order, and we were able to quickly file a petition to terminate the probation and restore the surgeon to an active license.

Contact a Chicago Medical License Defense Attorney

If you are facing the possibility of discipline due to claims of non-therapeutic prescribing, you should take immediate action to protect your license, your DEA registration, and your record. Before agreeing to an interview or providing any information to the IDFPR or the DEA, contact our attorneys to discuss your situation. Edward and Fred will provide you with a free one-hour consultation, and will review the circumstances of your case, explain the potential types of disciplinary action that may be taken, and determine the best course of action that will help you avoid or minimize public discipline to your license. To learn more about how we can help you protect your ability to practice medicine, call us today at 312-335-9470.

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