Michael Jackson's doctor isn't the only one in hot water over prescription drugs.
The number of doctors in trouble is still relatively small, but growing at an alarming rate. According to a CDC report, the amount of fatal overdoses from prescription painkillers has more than TRIPLED between 1999 and 2006!
Reuters tallied around 37 reported criminal cases in the decade from 2001 to 2011, with most recent cases against doctors for over-prescribing painkillers and other controlled substances.
U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration information suggests a similar trend. For 2003, the agency reported 15 physician arrests that resulted in convictions. By 2008, the most recent year with comprehensive data, the number had grown to 43.
So, we're wondering what kind of effect that has on doctors and how they practice medicine. Are the becoming too scared to properly prescribe to their patients? Are they losing trust in a patient's word on the amount of pain that they have versus being possibly addicted?
Is there a proper balance between professional judgement and the fear of accidentally giving too much??
It'll be interesting to see what happens to this trend.
[Image via AP Images.]