Over-prescribing of prescription painkillers affects our communities all around us. Prescription painkillers are worth a lot of money on the black market. Some medical professionals who can legally prescribe these medications are blinded by greed. One oxycodone pill can go for as much as $30 on the street and usually comes in a prescription count of 120 pills (4 per day). That means that one prescription can be sold for $3600! Doctors who illegally prescribe painkillers will take on clients who have no medical reason to be prescribed the pills, but have the money to afford the visit. Most visits need to be paid in cash and can cost around $400 and up. The doctor will see the patient for 5-10 minutes and will give a prescription.
This reckless abuse of prescribed medications has led to countless deaths and people being incarcerated. It only take a couple of dirty doctors to create a huge influence on the way that prescriptions are written and monitored. Good doctors are afraid to write prescription painkillers to their patients because of the backlash they have witnessed including raids that have taken place on doctor's offices because of high prescribing rates.
The New Jersey Attorney General has filed 50 disciplinary actions seeking to revoke, suspend or restrict the practicing authorities of prescribers, pharmacists or pharmacies. The 15 month crackdown on practitioners who allegedly put the public at risk through the negligent prescribing or dispensing of opiate painkillers and/or other controlled substances medications.
“The only way to make progress against opiate abuse is to fight it on multiple fronts at the same time,” Acting Attorney General John J. Hoffman said. “Even as we pursue criminal cases against heroin rings and pill distribution mills, we also must take strong action against prescribers and dispensers who make pills available for abuse. By putting doctors and pharmacists who illegally peddle this mayhem into prison, and/or by revoking or suspending licenses or CDS (Controlled Dangerous Substances) registrations for non-criminal matters, we are sending a clear message to other practitioners who may be tempted to let greed or negligence corrupt their practice.”
The state filed 27 additional orders pertaining to prescribers or dispensers in New Jersey's CDS registrations. While a dispenser’s license is granted by a professional licensing board, those licensees and pharmacies also must obtain a CDS registration from the Director of the Division of Consumer Affairs. Revocation of the CDS registration protects the public by ensuring that CDS cannot be prescribed or dispensed, even if the licensee returns to practice or a pharmacy reopens. The Director will only reinstate a CDS registration upon determining that a return to prescribing or dispensing is in the public's best interest.
These actions have had a measurable impact in protecting the public. Among the physicians whose licenses have been revoked or temporarily suspended, just eight were responsible for writing more than 45,000 prescriptions representing 3.2 million doses of CDS medications during 2012. Thanks to these enforcement actions, the CDS prescribing by these doctors has been reduced to zero.