TBA Law Blog

Posted by: Amelia Ferrell Knisely on Apr 22, 2016

When do prescribers of medicine become drug dealers under federal law? The Knoxville News Sentinel says the question has emerged following the first federal prosecution in East Tennessee of doctors on pill-mill charges. Prosecutors say two doctors made roughly $2.5 million in 17 months from giving out thousands of prescriptions without "a legitimate medical purpose.” The pair faces trial later this year under a section of drug-trafficking laws that put them in the same category as "street dealers." U.S. Magistrate Judge Clifford Shirley ruled, "The court discerns no due process violation in permitting the government to prosecute registered medical professionals." The doctors are appealing Shirley’s ruling.