Being a pain management specialist means being continually conflicted between following regulations for controlled substances and doing what’s best for their pain patients. This is something Ronald W. Chapman II, chair of Chapman Law Group’s White Collar Defense & Government Investigations practice group, has strived to bring attention to, especially as the controversial CDC guidelines for prescribing controlled substances are usurping federal criminal standards and state regulatory standards.
Ron’s mission is getting national attention, the latest instance being his inclusion in a white paper, “Criminalizing Good Medical Care: The Opioid Crisis and How to Practice Safely,” published by PainScored.
In it, Ron’s “Defending Hippocrates: Representing Physicians in the Wake of the Opioid Epidemic” article, which he wrote for the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers’ The Champion publication (September-October 2017 edition) is cited:
[Ron] writes about how federal and state prosecutors are more aggressive in investigating and prosecuting DEA registrants for prescribing “outside the course of professional practice.” How is this defined? It is clouded by a U.S. Supreme Court Decision, U.S. v. Moore, which upheld prosecution under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA). In the wake of the decision, federal circuit courts have had trouble understanding “legitimate medical purpose” and “usual course of professional practice.”
[Ron] argues that the “misunderstanding has led to the judicial creation of a ‘criminal standard of care’ for all appropriate prescribing.” It was revisited by the Supreme Court in Gonzales vs. Oregon, which attempted to clarify but ultimately confused the matter. Since then, federal circuit court opinions have held doctors to heightened, and often shifting, standards such as “failure to recognize signs of drug diversion.”
Ron, who focuses exclusively on defending health care providers nationwide who are under investigation by the DEA and federal prosecutors, also is mentioned as saying:
“[A] strong defense requires ‘narrowing of the standard, solid expert testimony and a strong presentation of the patient’s medical need for the prescription issued by a physician.’”