Standard of Care for Prescribing Medication

The Tennessee State Board of Medical Examiners has a policy about prescribing drugs.  It applies to any prescription written for a patient, whether in person, electronically, or over the Internet. 

The policy includes the following:

(1) Except as provided in paragraph (2), it shall be a prima facie violation of T.C.A. 63-6-214 (b) (1), (4), and (12) for a physician to prescribe or dispense any drug to any individual, whether in person or by electronic means or over the Internet or over
telephone lines, unless the physician has first done and appropriately documented, for the person to whom a prescription is to be issued or drugs dispensed, all of the following:
(a) Performed an appropriate history and physical examination; and
(b) Made a diagnosis based upon the examinations and all diagnostic and laboratory tests consistent with good medical care; and
(c) Formulated a therapeutic plan, and discussed it, along with the basis for it and the risks and benefits of various treatments options, a part of which might be the
prescription or dispensing drug, with the patient; and
(d) Insured availability of the physician or coverage for the patient for appropriate
follow-up care.

Paragraph  (2) provides as follows:

A physician may prescribe or dispense drugs for a person not in compliance with
subparagraph (a) in circumstances including, but not limited to, the following:
(a) In admission orders for a newly hospitalized patient; and
(b) For a patient of another physician for whom the prescriber is taking calls; and
(c) For continuation medications on a short-term basis for a new patient prior to the
patient’s first appointment; and
(d) For established patients who, based on sound medical practices, the physician
feels does not require a new physical examination before issuing new

Every doctor will admit that it is a violation of the applicable standard of care not to follow the law regarding prescribing medications.   If a defendant refuses to do so, your expert will have no problem so testifying.

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