Pharmacists Caught Diverting Drugs — Your Guide to Help Save Your Professional License

pharmacists caught diverting drugs

pharmacists caught diverting drugs

It’s every pharmacist’s worst nightmare: being accused of diverting drugs. In an industry where trust is paramount, this accusation can have serious professional and personal consequences for your career.

Unfortunately, the risk of pharmacists caught diverting drugs is growing as opioid addiction continues to rise across the country.

But you don’t have to let it happen to you—with the right knowledge and strategies, you can protect yourself from these accusations and save your professional license.

In this article, we will explore why pharmacists are vulnerable to diversion allegations and provide a comprehensive guide on how best to avoid them in both clinical practice and everyday life.

What Is Drug Diversion?

Drug diversion is the illegal transfer, sale, or purchase of a controlled substance. It includes stealing drugs from pharmacies and hospitals, forging prescriptions, selling pills on the street, and other activities that involve unlawfully obtaining prescription medications.

Pharmacists who engage in this activity risk losing their professional licenses, and facing criminal charges such as possession or distribution of a controlled substance. Furthermore, diverting drugs puts public safety as individuals are being given medication that was either not prescribed or will result in an overprescription.

Potential Reasons for Suspecting Drug Diversion by Pharmacists

Regulatory bodies like the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) and the federal Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) take drug diversion cases seriously due to the risk of drug abuse from prescription drugs.

Various circumstances can trigger investigations for drug diversion, including:

  • Operating a “pill mill” by selling narcotics or opioids to individuals for non-therapeutic purposes
  • Failing to prevent patients from receiving multiple prescriptions from different medical providers (doctor shopping)
  • Inadequate monitoring of patient drug use
  • Stealing prescription forms or forging physician signatures on prescription forms
  • Failure to properly secure drugs at a pharmacy, office, or hospital, leading to controlled substance theft

Any physician or pharmacist accused of drug diversion may face investigations by the IDFPR and DEA, which could result in serious criminal and professional consequences.

What Are the Consequences for Pharmacists Caught Diverting Drugs?

When pharmacists are caught diverting drugs, the consequences can be severe.

There are several risks associated with drug diversion, and it’s important to understand them to protect your license:

  • Criminal charges and potential imprisonment
  • Professional sanctions by IDFPR, such as suspension or revocation of licenses
  • Reputational loss within the medical community
  • Difficulty finding future employment in the healthcare field

Understanding these potential outcomes is key for pharmacists hoping to save their professional licenses should they ever find themselves facing charges relating to drug diversion.

How to Protect Your Professional License From Drug Diversion Allegations

If you are facing drug diversion allegations, taking immediate action to protect your professional license is important.

Here are four steps you can take:

  • Don’t talk to any enforcement agency Hire an attorney immediately.
  • Seek legal representation from an experienced professional licensed defense attorney.
  • Cooperate when appropriate with investigators and provide honest and truthful information.

If you’re a pharmacist facing an investigation for drug diversion, it’s crucial to protect your professional license and reputation. Don’t wait until it’s too late—contact a professional license defense attorney at 1818 today to help you navigate this situation.

Jordan Matyas

Jordan Matyas

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Jordan Matyas is a lawyer, lobbyist, and Founder of 1818 Legal, an Illinois professional licensing defense law firm he created in 2014. With more than 18 years of experience practicing law, he represents clients in a wide range of legal matters, including professional license defense, administrative law, land use and zoning, and state, local, and municipal law.

Jordan received his Juris Doctor from the University of Illinois — Chicago School of Law and is a member of the Illinois Bar Association.