Medical Ethics Community
legal or not - serious
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legal or not - serious

i have been instructed to enter physician offices who appear to write excessive controls and observe patients to determine if the office may be filling scripts for patients who appear "shady". the outside of the practice is observed, then we enter the office and wait for awhile, then leave.
i am given a script of what to say if i am questioned by office staff, which happens since i am not a patient and do not have an appointment.
it is my feeling, that i have been instructed to perform an illegal action and would like some insight from an MD or a lawyer as to if this is legal or not.

6 Comments Post a Comment
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1340994_tn?1374197577
It sounds like you are saying you have been hired to investigate offices under cover.  You better find out who you are working for.  If you don't feel you are good at acting, then you may not be good at this job.  
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Avatar_m_tn
i work in retail pharmacy, and have no legal standing to perform these tasks from what i can gather, which is why i am trying to reach out to someone who can confirm or deny my beliefs
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875426_tn?1325532016
That doesn't sound like something someone who works at a retail pharmacy ought to be doing.  The excessive prescriptions of controlled substances, in your supervisor/manager's estimation, sounds like something they should report to law enforcement to investigate if they suspect something shady is going on at the physicians' offices.  I'd recommend you call the police/law enforcement and tell them what you've been instructed to do and why.  
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144586_tn?1284669764
This is not legal unless you have a private investigators license or are operating under the supervision of a licensed private investigator. Or are doing so as a police informant.  In addition you could be charged under various state laws, as well as face civil liabilities in a tort action. Comments regarding patients who appear "shady" would be construed as libel or slander (depending on if you make a written report) and are actionable in a tort "per se" (that is in contrast to per quod, where there must be a jury finding) That means in court they will get automatic damages from you.
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Avatar_m_tn
who can i report this to from a legal stand point?

after this nonsense, i am ready to file a whistleblower complaint since we are put in danger of being sued personally and facing criminal charges if anyone got wind of this
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875426_tn?1325532016
You might consult a criminal lawyer and see what they advise as to what law enforcement agency to report it to.
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