On June 27, 2022, the United States Supreme Court, by a vote of 9-0, overturned the lower circuit courts’ rulings affirming the convictions of two physicians of the unlawful distribution of controlled substances. In Ruan v. United States (Case No. 20-1410), consolidated with Kahn v. United States (Case No. 21-5261), the Supreme Court was asked to determine whether a physician may be convicted of unlawful distribution of controlled substances under 21 U.S.C. § 841(a)(1) without regard to whether, in good faith, the physician “reasonably believed” or “subjectively intended” that his or her prescriptions fall within that course of professional practice. The Controlled Substances Act makes it unlawful for “any person knowingly or intentionally … to manufacture, distribute, or dispense” a controlled substance, “except as authorized.” A prescription is authorized when it is “issued for a legitimate medical purpose by an individual practitioner acting in the usual course of his professional practice.” 21 C.F.R. § 1306.04(a). The “vague and highly general regulatory language” left open the question of what conduct would fall under the statute’s exception and thus be considered legal.
Continue Reading Supreme Court Reaffirms Mens Rea Requirement in Controlled Substance Health Care Fraud Cases and Government Burden to Prove Subjective Bad Faith

Missouri’s Senate advanced Senate Bill 63 this week in a move to become the last state in the Nation to create a Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (“PDMP”). The bill would establish a Joint Oversight Task Force for Prescription Drug Monitoring, if adopted by the House of Representatives and signed by Governor Parson.
Continue Reading Missouri Last in the Nation to Roll Out Prescription Drug Monitoring Program