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What If DEA Gave a Party...

04/05/2018

... and nobody came.

Many physicians faced with the over $700 fee for DEA registration, yet rarely, if ever, prescribing controlled substances, like pathologists and radiologists, consider dropping their registration altogether, but some complain that they must have a DEA number to belong to the medical staff of their hospital.

What would happen if physicians who do prescribe controlled substances allowed their DEA registration to expire? It might approximate the strike that many physicians would like to hold. Of course DEA would hold the physicians' patients' needs hostage: Physicians do not like to see their patients suffer.

But if renegade physicians should simply recommend verbally that a patient take, say, hydrocodone for pain, would that in itself constitute a crime, a violation of the controlled substances act? Suppose, at the patient's request, this physician documented that recommendation in "writing." Could the physician go to jail for that? Would that even constitute a "prescription?" 

If said patient showed this written documentation of this recommendation to a pharmacist, I suspect the pharmacist would refuse to provide the drug on the grounds that said document does not constitute a prescription. Now the pharmacist instead of the physician would feel the pressure of the patient's suffering as hostage. Could we not then blame the pharmacist, rather than the physician? Do pharmacists like to see their patients (customers?) suffer?

Such a near strike by a sufficient number of physicians could render DEA irrelevant. Should physicians stop renewing their DEA registration and thus stop feeding the bureaucratic monster that demonstrates daily how it has failed to stem the tide of addiction?