Course detail: Prescription Drug Investigations

Course Description: 

The criminal diversion of controlled pharmaceuticals can be a complex and confusing issue for law enforcement. These otherwise legally prescribed controlled substances can become illegal when diverted from the standard practice of medicine. The diversion of controlled pharmaceutical opioids has directly led to the current opioid crisis we are experiencing in the United States. This class will help to guide law enforcement investigators as they address these complex cases. 

Because physicians and pharmacies are licensed by state boards, and granted authority by DEA to prescribe controlled substances, law enforcement officers are often confused about what constitutes an illegal diversion of these substances. Further, prosecutors, judges and juries may also be confused or misled on what behavior constitutes the practice of medicine, and what behavior is criminal. At the end of this course, the student will have a firm grasp on separating the two areas. 

This course of instruction will cover the underlying statutes which govern the prescribing and dispensing of controlled pharmaceuticals. The course will also describe typical scenarios involving doctors, pharmacists and others who criminally divert these substances. An in-depth examination of investigative techniques, followed up with a discussion of preparing for possible prosecution, will be key components of this class. Finally, the students will be given a thorough case study of a recent successful prosecution of a doctor, a pharmacist and other co-conspirators. 

Core Competencies: 
  • Participants will develop procedural knowledge of federal, state and local laws as they pertain to the actions of law enforcement officers and the enforcement of those laws. 
  • Participants will employ best practices as they investigate any crime from its beginning to its eventual disposition; either as an individual, or as part of an investigatory team. 
Course Objectives: 
  • Identify criminal diversion of pharmaceutical controlled substances. 
  • Identify the resources necessary for a successful investigation.
  • Identify effective investigative tools. 
  • Be able to formulate an investigative strategy which will allow for a successful prosecution. 

Instructional Methods: 
  • Lecture 
  • Discussion 
  • Case Studies 

Who Should Attend: 

  • Law Enforcement Officers 
Course Requirements: 
  • 100% Attendance 
  • Pre/Post Test

Available sessions