The Legal Treatment DAVID N. VOZZA, ESQ.
Opioid Epidemic â€“ Shifting Blame from Prescribers to Manufacturers
here can be no doubt that the dominant and most oft-debated legal issue affecting the practice of medicine today is the prescription of controlled substances to patients for pain. These powerful medications include the drug Oxycontin, a highly addictive opioid produced by the privately-held company, Purdue Pharma. As we all know now, Oxycontin is very often prone to abuse. It is estimated that, since Oxycontin first came on the market in David Vozza, Esq. 1996, a staggering 200,000 people in the United States have died from overdoses involving prescription pain medications. As a result, federal, state and local governments have struggled to find ways to curb opioid abuse and prevent further catastrophe.. Traditionally, those governments have leaned on either state medical boards or criminal investigative authorities to police prescriptions of opioids, alleging that they are made without indication or to individuals who are clearly addicted or abusing the drugs. Both tactics focus on the prescribing physician as the culprit. In New York, there has been a huge uptick in physicians who have either had their medical license revoked or been disciplined in some manner in connection with allegations that their opioid prescription practices were not necessary or reckless. In fact, most recent disciplinary actions and sanctions published by the NYS Department of Health are related to allegations of improper opioid prescriptions.