Cosigning prescriptions for controlled substances
—MOHAMMED ASHRAF, MD, St. Louis
First, I want to thank you for your service in helping our underserved population. The question you raise, if I may rephrase it, is, "Can I get in trouble with my medical board or the DEA by simply cosigning these prescriptions?" To protect yourself and your colleagues, I recommend that you document a good faith medical examination before cosigning these prescriptions. That documentation should include an independent medical judgment that, based on your evaluation of the diagnosis, the prescription rendered seems reasonable in type and quantity. This, along with the fact that the patient had an independent evaluation by a specialist should provide ample protection. If you discover, however, that the prescribing "specialist" is overprescribing or prescribing inappropriately, you cannot justify the prescription based on your own independent evaluation. In that instance, I would not cosign.
—John Davenport, MD, JD (129-8)