What You Should Know About Arizona Prescription Drug Laws
Lawmakers at the local, state, and federal levels are taking proactive steps to address our nation’s growing opioid epidemic. The Arizona legislature recently enacted The Arizona Opioid Epidemic Act. Born of a true bipartisan effort, the Act unanimously passed through the Arizona House and Senate and was quickly signed by Governor Ducey.
Prescription opioid drugs have a legitimate medical purpose to help those in pain; however, these drugs carry a high risk for addiction. The opioid epidemic is in part due to prescription painkillers. Abuse of drugs such as the synthetic opioid fentanyl, and other legal pain relievers like oxycodone, hydrocodone, and morphine, are significant contributors to the epidemic that claims the lives of tens of thousands of Americans every year.
The Act contains a few new policy initiatives regarding prescription drugs, including cracking down on forged prescriptions by requiring e-prescribing, requiring pharmacists to check the Controlled Substances Prescription Monitoring Program prior to dispensing an opioid, and increasing oversight and enacting criminal penalties for manufacturers who defraud the public about their products, and focusing on ending so-called “pill mills.” The Act further includes an initiative to limit the first time an opioid prescription is filled to a five day supply for patients new to the opioid drug, and limiting dosage levels to align with federal prescribing guidelines. Express exemptions are carved out to protect chronic pain suffers, cancer, trauma patients, hospice patients, and those receiving medication assisted treatment for substance use disorder.
Possession, Use, and Sale of Prescription-only Drugs
Pursuance to Arizona Criminal Code, a person shall not knowingly:
- Possess or use a prescription-only drug unless the person obtains the drug with a valid prescription, from a licensed prescriber.
- Obtain or procure the administration of a prescription-only drug by fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation.
- Possess a prescription-only drug for sale unless licensed by the state to do so, including pharmacies.
- Possess the equipment and chemicals for the purpose of manufacture a prescription-only drug unless the person holds a license to manufacture a prescription-only drug.
- Administer a prescription-only drug to another person whose possession or use of the prescription-only drug violates Arizona prescription drug laws.
- Unless the person is authorized, transport for sale, import into this state or offer to transport for sale or import into this state, sell, transfer or offer to sell or transfer a prescription-only drug.
- Possess or use a misbranded drug. A “misbranded drug” means a drug that is misbranded as prescribed in R.S. 32-1967.
- Manufacture, sell or distribute a misbranded drug.
A.R.S. 13-3406. The charges under this criminal code section vary from more serious class 4 and class 6 felonies, to less serious class 1 or 2 misdemeanors. Conviction for a felony crime carries a sentence for a term of imprisonment. Also, conviction under any portion of this code section carries a mandatory fine of $1,000 in addition to other penalties prescribed, including imprisonment. A.R.S. 13-3406(C).
Defending Against Charges for Violating Arizona Prescription Drug Laws
When you hire us to defend you we will strive to get the charges against you dropped or reduced to lesser charges, and work to get mitigation of any sentencing. Our firm is dedicated to the criminal defense of individuals, patients, doctors, clinics, pharmacists, and other licensed health care professionals under investigation for or charged with violating prescription laws.
Our experienced attorneys can craft a solid legal strategy, including all defenses available to you. We are prepared to mount a strong defense against criminal charges for violating Arizona prescription drug laws.
If criminal charges for prescription law violations are filed against you, your freedom is at risk. The white collar criminal attorneys of Ashley D. Adams, PLC are prepared to defend your rights and combat aggressive prosecutors.
Contact us or call now (480) 219-1366 for a consultation.
The attorneys at Ashley D. Adams, PLC handle state criminal cases throughout Arizona and federal criminal cases throughout the United States, including Arizona, Oklahoma, Utah, and California.