Prescription drugs are only issued to patients by a qualified medical professional for the purpose of treating a medical condition. The drugs typically cannot be obtained or sold without proper documentation.
However, people who want prescription drugs but lack a valid prescription are managing to obtain these drugs at pill mills in many states.
The term “pill mill” describes a clinic, pharmacy, or doctor dispensing or prescribing powerful narcotics for non-medical or inappropriate reasons.
A pill mill operates as a pain management office, pain clinic, or doctor’s office with a staff. It generally has a sign telling people that medication is dispensed at the location and/or that out-of-state patients are welcome. No appointment is needed. There is usually a doctor or other medical professional on staff who will write a prescription based on a quick medical examination. The clinic then fills the prescription immediately. The filled prescriptions typically:
Individuals usually go to this type of clinic for various reasons, including:
In short, yes. It is illegal under federal law for a doctor to prescribe pain medication without having a legitimate medical purpose. It is also illegal for a doctor to write a prescription outside the course of their medical practice.
The medical professional who issued the prescription can be arrested for drug trafficking under federal law.
As with most drug charges, a drug trafficking charge carries the possible punishments of a lengthy prison sentence and/or a fine. In addition to these punishments, a medical professional could also have their license to practice medicine revoked and face additional sanctions from the governing board that issued the license.
Yes. If you have been accused of being involved with a pill mill, it is in your best interest to talk to a criminal law attorney about legal representation. The attorney will explain the charge and possible defenses.
Last Modified: 05-20-2016 08:35 AM PDTLaw Library Disclaimer
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