Minnesota readers have probably heard that toxicology tests following the death of pop icon Prince found that the cause of death was opioid overdose. Specifically, Prince was found to have overdosed on fentanyl, a synthetic opioid.
One of the questions that investigators sought to answer after learning the cause of death was how Prince obtained fentanyl. If the answer to this question is known, it is not yet available to the public. Recently unsealed court documents do, however, provide some of the details of Prince’s addiction prior to his overdose.
Among the details found in the documents is that a family physician who saw Prince twice in April 2016 wrote a prescription for oxycodone intended for him, but addressed the prescription to Prince’s friend and bodyguard in order to preserve Prince’s privacy. That fact, however, is disputed by the physician’s attorney, who says that he actually never prescribed opioids to Prince, either directly or indirectly. According to the court documents, Prince did not have prescriptions for any painkillers.
Prescribing drugs to an individual in the name of another is illegal, and physicians who engage in this practice can face penalties, including professional discipline. Nevertheless, it is not an uncommon practice, particularly among celebrities.
As we’ve previously mentioned on this blog, physicians who come under investigation by the state medical board for their prescription practices should always work with an experienced attorney to navigate the process with their best interests in mind. Doing so ensures that the physician’s rights will be effectively advocated and the he or she has the best opportunity to resolve the case in a favorable manner.