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shutterstock_243010870_20220602-170034_1.jpgWith the trust that doctors and pharmacies are given to prescribing controlled substances, they also have a responsibility to ensure that the substances are being used for legitimate medical purposes. Physicians and pharmacists may fall under investigation for drug diversion if they are suspected of facilitating prescription drugs to be obtained, shared, or transferred inappropriately. This can be for their own personal use, the use of their patients, or by outside individuals. These investigations can lead to discipline to their medical license as well as criminal charges. Any medical provider who has been accused of drug diversion should contact an experienced medical license defense attorney to discuss their options.

Potential Causes of Drug Diversion Suspicion

Given the risk of drug abuse from prescription drugs, drug diversion cases are taken seriously by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) and the federal Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). There are a variety of different circumstances that can cause a physician or pharmacist to be investigated for drug diversion. These can include:

  • Selling narcotics or opioids to individuals for non-therapeutic uses, also known as operating a pill mill


shutterstock_1133220323.jpgIn the latest budget for the state of Illinois, licensing fees are waived for frontline health care workers for the state fiscal year 2023, which runs from July 1, 2022 through June 30, 2023. This includes licensing fees for nurses, pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, physicians and surgeons, physician assistants, and social workers. The waiver covers initial applications for licensing as well as renewals.  

Appreciation for Frontline Healthcare Workers

In an effort to show appreciation for the frontline workers still battling the COVID-19 pandemic after two long years and in recognition of the financial burden many have faced, Governor J.B. Pritzker proposed that license fees will be waived for nearly 470,000 frontline healthcare workers. The budget was approved in February and takes effect on July 1.  

If you hold more than one license through the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR), you will be granted a waiver for each application. There are certain variances to license renewal schedules that have been granted to ensure all possible workers will be able to benefit. Refer to the IDFPR website for more details. Nurses who qualify include registered nurses, APRNs, full practice APNs, APRN controlled substance nurses, and full practice APN controlled substance nurses. 


shutterstock_1478187425.jpgEven before the global pandemic, the field of veterinary medicine was full of daily pitfalls and long-term challenges. The last two years have brought about a multitude of changes in how veterinarians operate their business and what is demanded of them by their customers. Some challenges are new, and some have merely been accelerated. 

Trials Facing Veterinarians

As they look to establish their practice or stay current and competitive in their field, veterinarians must balance new and existing obstacles. Here are some of the top challenges facing veterinarians and veterinary practices. 

Staff attrition and burnout - It can be difficult to keep a veterinary practice running without highly trained and dedicated staff. Working with animals every day can be a physically demanding and emotionally draining job. Every level of staff deals must provide customer service and care to individuals who often have deep emotional ties to their pets. This can be especially true for pet owners who have developed even closer bonds with their pets coming out of the pandemic. There continues to be a high turnover rate for licensed veterinarians, veterinary technicians, and staff at veterinary practices. 


shutterstock_200278673.jpgMany women choose to use midwives during the birth of their children. However, until recently, Illinois did not provide separate licensing for midwives. Currently, only registered nurses who underwent additional training and met certain requirements have been recognized as nurse-midwives in the state. Under legislation signed by Governor Pritzker in February, midwives without nursing degrees will be able to gain licensing. The new law will take effect on October 1, 2022.

Illinois Midwife Licensing Basics

After October, licensed midwives will have the right to provide care for women before, during, and after deliveries outside of a hospital setting as long as the pregnancies and deliveries are deemed low-risk. They will also be able to provide women with other forms of medical care, including well-woman care, care and supervision during pregnancy, performing pap smears, and screening for STDs.

In order to provide this prenatal, delivery, and postnatal care, midwives will need to meet qualification standards, education, and training. They may also be subject to disciplinary steps and malpractice claims.


shutterstock_1701457318-1.jpgThe opioid epidemic in the United States has become a "hot button" issue not only with federal prosecutors but among families at the dinner table. Nearly half a million people have died of opioid-related overdose in the last 20 years. The opioid crisis has touched many people personally, whether it is a family member’s struggle with addiction or their own. Highly relevant in the conversation of opioids is the duty of care of physicians when prescribing and the numerous cases of abuse of that duty through the operation of so-called ‘pill mills.’

Two pending cases in the Supreme Court of the United States brought by two physicians previous convicted of overprescribing opioids, (Kahn v. United States and Ruan v. United States) ask the court to contemplate whether a uniform criminal standard should be applied to physicians in opioid cases that permits a ‘good faith’ defense for accused physicians. Currently, the Controlled Substances Act of 1970 holds that doctors cannot prescribe opioids and other controlled substances unless there is a prescription for a legitimate medical purpose as determined by a physician acting in the usual course of his professional practice.

The phrase ‘legitimate medical purpose’ has given rise to different interpretations by federal appellate courts. Some federal appellate courts hold that physicians can be convicted for prescribing opioids regardless of the ‘legitimate medical purpose’ so long as the prescriptions were uncommon or not permitted by standards of accepted medical practice.

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