How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Law Educator, Esq. Your Own Question
Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 117358
Experience:  Attorney with over 20 years law enforcement, prosecution, civil rights and defense experience
Type Your Criminal Law Question Here...
Law Educator, Esq. is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

hi, my cousin has been doctor shopping" to get his rx of ambien.

This answer was rated:

hi, my cousin has been 'doctor shopping" to get his rx of ambien. he has a terrible time sleeping and needs to take about 3 or 4 in order to sleep. 1 doctor will not write this rx so he needs to go to 4 doctors.

my question is in reference to the new NY state law requiring doctors and pharmacists to check the history of controlled substances. Please only answer if you are familar with these laws. here is the link

My questions are, do all doctors and pharmacists have to have this system in place? if so do they have a time period in which they must have this database? (ie within 1 year?)

are any docs, pharmacies exempt from using the system? are the smaller mom and pop type pharmacies less likely to get this system in place?

what happens if he gets "caught" getting a controlled substance from multipe doctors. i will leave a nice tip for thorough answers. thank you
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking.

Under the NY law, which is effective August 27, 2013, every practitioner whose license permits the prescribing of Schedule II, III, or IV drugs must consult the Registry prior to prescribing or dispensing for purposes of reviewing a patient’s controlled substance history and make an appropriate notation in the patient’s medical record. Pharmacists before filling any prescription after August 27, 2013 must check the online prescription database as well. By March 27, 2014, all prescriptions must be transmitted electronically and the pharmacies cannot accept or fill any prescription they do not receive electronically.

There have been no exceptions put into the law other than for doctors who are actually administering the narcotics in their office. Thus, all pharmacies, including small mom and pop pharmacies and hospital pharmacies who fill outside prescriptions must check the system for the doctor's reporting and verification.

I truly aim to please you as a customer, but please keep in mind that I do not know what you already know or don't know, or with what you need help, unless you tell me. Please consider that I am answering the question or question that is posed in your posting based upon my reading of your post and sometimes misunderstandings can occur. If I did not answer the question you thought you were asking, please respond with the specific question you wanted answered.

Kindly remember the ONLY WAY experts receive any credit at all for spending time with customers is if you click on OK, GOOD or EXCELLENT SERVICE even though you have made a deposit or are a subscription customer. YOU MUST COMPLETE THE RATING FOR THE EXPERT TO RECEIVE ANY CREDIT, if not the site keeps your money on deposit.

Also remember, sometimes the law does not support what we want it to support, but that is not the fault of the person answering the question, so please be courteous.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

thank you,


do they have a time period in which they must have this database? (ie within 1 year?)


is there any case in which a pharmacy would not check the system?


what do they see when they check the system?


what happens when they see he has gotten the rx filled by other doctors? are authorities involved? could he go to jail?

Thank you for your response.

The dates the systems must be used were the dates given above. There is no grace period in the law. The only case a pharmacy would not have to check the system is in a hospital setting where the doctor is administering on site medications. Otherwise they will have to check the system and they will see all medications prescribed for the patient and the dates they were prescribed and the dates they were filled.

If he continues the practice, it is considered illegal possession of narcotics and it would be just as though he had never obtained a prescription for the drugs he has. The sentence could be 1-5 years and it is a felony, depending on the number of pills he has obtained. So, yes, he could go to jail for this, although in a first offense the prosecutor is much more agreeable to sending a first offender to rehab instead of jail to give them a chance, but it would still mean he would have a felony.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

thank you. last question. is this database statewide or nationwide?

Thank you for your response.

The database is in NY only, it is a NY law and for NY pharmacies and doctors to comply with. There is no national database yet, but there has been debate in Congress about implementing one.

If he goes to a doctor in NJ, then the NJ prescriptions are not reported in the NY database, for example.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

thanks so much you have been most helpful. last question i promise. then tip. ;-)


what are the pharmacies and doctors required to do if they see abuse of this kind? and what are they likely to do (ie, just say they will not write or fill the rx?)

Thank you for your response.

The pharmacies are to refuse to fill the prescriptions and report it to the Department of Health narcotics unit for investigation. The doctors are to refuse to write any further prescriptions and could lose their license to prescribe if they do not do so. They also must report suspected abuse to the Department of Health narcotics unit for investigation.
Law Educator, Esq. and 3 other Criminal Law Specialists are ready to help you

Related Criminal Law Questions