OBN action can be for a variety of reasons

The Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs has taken action against doctors, dentists and others who write prescriptions for a variety of reasons over the years.
by Andrew Knittle Published: August 27, 2012
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AT A GLANCE

Many reasons trigger action

The Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs has taken action against doctors, dentists and others who write prescriptions for a variety of reasons.

Sandra LaVenue, deputy counsel for the bureau, said writing prescriptions for controlled substances without being registered and over-prescribing violations, which are often in the news as law enforcement cracks down on the nation's collective abuse of prescription medications, are not the only reasons health care professionals are investigated by the bureau.

Physician assistants and advance practice nurses are often left on their own to diagnose and suggest medications for patients, she said.

LaVenue said such health care professionals are to work under the direction supervision of a medical doctor or doctor of osteopathy.

“We got a lot of cases where the doctor is just signing the prescription and leaving it with them,” she said. “We also have doctors that aren't really watching what's going on, and their staff is just calling in prescriptions for themselves, for family members … things like that.”

LaVenue said some health care professionals are investigated for writing prescriptions to family members, which isn't allowed.

Doctors, dentists and other health care professionals aren't the only ones being watched by the bureau.

“We've got cases where pharmacies aren't watching who's checking in the drugs and the drugs are being hauled out in the garbage or something like that,” LaVenue said. “There's a huge number of violations out there.”

Andrew Knittle, Staff Writer


by Andrew Knittle
Investigative Reporter
Andrew Knittle has covered state water issues, tribal concerns and major criminal proceedings during his career as an Oklahoma journalist. He has won reporting awards from the state's Associated Press bureau and prides himself on finding a real...
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