DCSIMG
Header Logo Band

Ethics

DEA imposes tighter restrictions on hydrocodone combination products

The Drug Enforcement Administration is reclassifying hydrocodone combination products and subjecting them to tighter restrictions.

Hydrocodone combination products, which include opioids such as Vicodin, Lorcet, Lortab and Norco, will be reclassified as Schedule II substances, effective Oct. 6.

Center for Professional SuccessThe DEA says the reclassification will protect public health and safety by reducing the potential for abuse, dependence and diversion of the highly addictive substances, while still ensuring that they’re available to patients with a legitimate medical need and who have an ongoing consultation with their health care professional.

“Almost 7 million Americans abuse controlled substance prescription medications, including opioid painkillers, resulting in more deaths from prescription drug overdoses than auto accidents,” DEA Administrator Michele Leonhart said in a news release. “(This) action recognizes that these products are some of the most addictive and potentially dangerous prescription medications available.”

Hydrocodone combination products are the most frequently prescribed drugs in the United States and more than 137 million prescriptions for hydrocodone combination products were written in 2013, according to the DEA.

The ADA Center for Dental Practice created a frequently asked questions on the new regulation, available here. The FAQ is only available to ADA members.

The FAQ includes:

  • What’s the difference between a Schedule II and a Schedule III classification?
  • Will I be able to phone in prescriptions to a pharmacy for a Schedule II HCP?
  • Are there other restrictions associated with writing prescriptions for Schedule II drugs?
  • How does the reclassification impact my patients?
  • Does the reclassification impact anyone besides prescribers and patients?

Is it ethical to date a patient?

ETHICS rubricPrinciple 2 of the ADA Code of Ethics relates to nonmaleficience – that is, do no harm.  Section 2G specifically states that dentists should avoid interpersonal relationships that could impair their professional judgment or risk the possibility of exploiting the confidence placed in them by a patient.

So, while the Code does not specifically state that dating a patient is unethical, it does raise some questions to consider.

The ADA ethics hotline is an easy, confidential way for ADA members to get some advice on next steps when navigating an ethical dilemma.

The hotline doesn’t provide legal guidance. Instead it provides a fresh perspective through a consultation with a member of the ADA Council on Ethics, Bylaws and Judicial Affairs (CEBJA.)

To access this ADA member benefit, call the toll-free number on your ADA member card and request the ethics hotline. After confirming your membership, you’ll be transferred to a voicemail system and asked to provide some information about your issue.

You’ll receive a personal telephone call from a member of CEBJA. This dentist will then discuss the application of the ADA Principles of Ethics and Code of Professional Conduct to your situation. The goal is for you to receive a response within two or three days. However, if you request a rapid response, volunteers and staff will work to accommodate your request.

And you are encouraged to familiarize yourself ADA Principles of Ethics and Code of Professional Conduct.

Ethics, Dental Exams and Documents

open mouthIn the December 2013 issue of the Journal of the American Dental Association (JADA) a reader asks:

A patient came to our office with a complaint of dental pain. He had not been to the office for two years for any type of examination or treatment.

The patient brought along a form from his employer. He requested that I sign the form after I performed the examination. The form stated that the patient had received a preventive dental examination.

Signing this form would allow the patient to receive more insurance coverage at lower cost from his employer for preventive care. What should I do?

You may be surprised by the answer (ADA Members have access to the complete online archive of JADA including the regular ethical moment column.)

Facing a thorny ethical issue yourself? The ADA ethics hotline is an easy, confidential way for ADA members to get some advice on next steps when navigating an ethical dilemma.

The hotline doesn’t provide legal guidance. Instead it provides a fresh perspective through a consultation with a member of the ADA Council on Ethics, Bylaws and Judicial Affairs (CEBJA.)

To access this ADA member benefit, call the toll-free number on your ADA member card and request the ethics hotline. After confirming your membership, you’ll be transferred to a voicemail system and asked to provide some information about your issue.

You’ll receive a personal telephone call from a member of CEBJA. This dentist will then discuss the application of the ADA Principles of Ethics and Code of Professional Conduct to your situation. The goal is for you to receive a response within two or three days. However, if you request a rapid response, volunteers and staff will work to accommodate your request.

And you are encouraged to familiarize yourself with the ADA Principles of Ethics and Code of Professional Conduct.

Is it Ethical to Raffle off Prizes in Exchange for Referrals?

open mouthIn the July 2013 issue of the Journal of the American Dental Association (JADA) a reader asks:

I found out that one of my colleagues is raffling off a jet ski. The rules of the raffle state that each person who refers a patient to the dentist’s practice will have his or her name entered into the raffle; the more people one refers, the more entries one gets. Is this a violation of the ADA Code?

You may be surprised by the answer (ADA Members have access to the complete online archive of JADA including the regular ethical moment column.)

Facing a thorny ethical issue? The ADA ethics hotline is an easy, confidential way for ADA members to get some advice on next steps when navigating an ethical dilemma.

The hotline doesn’t provide legal guidance. Instead it provides a fresh perspective through a consultation with a member of the ADA Council on Ethics, Bylaws and Judicial Affairs (CEBJA.)

To access this ADA member benefit, call the toll-free number on your ADA member card and request the ethics hotline. After confirming your membership, you’ll be transferred to a voicemail system and asked to provide some information about your issue.

You’ll receive a personal telephone call from a member of CEBJA. This dentist will then discuss the application of the ADA Principles of Ethics and Code of Professional Conduct to your situation. The goal is for you to receive a response within two or three days. However, if you request a rapid response, volunteers and staff will work to accommodate your request.

And you are encouraged to familiarize yourself ADA Principles of Ethics and Code of Professional Conduct.