What is doctor shopping?

All states, including Florida, have laws against "doctor shopping." As such, it’s very important to know what this is so that you do not accidentally break the law, as ignorance of the law is generally not considered a viable excuse.

Essentially, doctor shopping is just the process of going to more than one doctor to get more of a drug than you are supposed to obtain. The laws are typically worded to stop deceit and/or fraud, and this practice falls into that category. Of course, there are situations in which you can see multiple doctors, but you can’t do it to get multiple prescriptions without telling the doctors what you’re doing.

For example, you may be injured in a car accident and get a prescription for heavy painkillers. This is a legit prescription and it’s not illegal to take the drugs to help with the pain, as long as you take them as directed. However, you could not then go to another doctor and get another prescription for the same injury, which you then have filled at a different pharmacy so that you can take twice as many pills as you were told to take.

Even though you do have valid health concerns that allowed you to get the prescriptions, this is thought of as deceit because you are using the same injury multiple times to trick the medical professionals.

If you’ve been accused of doctor shopping, something that could come about accidentally if you simply don’t know that it’s illegal, it is crucial that you know what rights you have in court.

Source: CDC, "Doctor Shopping Laws," accessed April 07, 2016

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