Professor Joel Johnson Interviewed on Supreme Court Case Ruan v. United States -- World Radio Legal Docket Podcast
Professor Joel S. Johnson was interviewed on the World Radio Legal Docket podcast regarding the Supreme Court case Ruan v. United States, in an episode titled "Bitter Pills." Professor Johnson provided an explanation of the recent Supreme Court decision vacating the convictions of certain doctors who prescribed excessive amounts of prescription opioids. The Court's decision clarified the standard that must be met to prosecute physicians for unauthorized prescriptions. The Court narrowly interpreted the scope of the relevant federal statute, making clear that a physician is criminally liable only if the physician subjectively knew that the prescription was for an illegitimate medical purpose in light of the relevant medical norms.
Excerpt from "Bitter Pills"
[The vague language in the DEA regulation] makes it difficult for physicians to know what exactly is permitted. There's a "gray zone," which may ultimately result in over-deterrence, meaning that some doctors may refrain from writing prescriptions in borderline cases when they believe it's in the best interest of their patients to do so. When the [Supreme] Court encounters vague language like this, it often tries to look for ways to interpret it narrowly to ensure that society is given clear and fair notice as to what conduct is in fact criminal.
The complete episode may be found at World Radio Legal Docket