State and federal laws to curb prescription drug abuse make it illegal for doctors to prescribe drugs in the name of anyone but the intended user. Physicians found using pseudonyms have lost their medical licenses and faced criminal charges, says the Los Angeles Times. The prohibition on fake names may become a key issue in the investigation into Michael Jackson’s death.
Sources say the performer had been prescribed drugs in the name “Omar Arnold” shortly before his death June 25. The probe has focused on Jackson’s use of drugs, and investigators are looking at the conduct of at least five doctors who wrote prescriptions for him. Dr. H. Westley Clark, director of the federal Center for Substance Abuse Treatment, said fake names flout mechanisms put in place by states and pharmacy chains to flag people abusing drugs. “It makes it difficult to track behavior of patients who might be doctor-shopping or who may be receiving large doses of controlled substances that might cause some concern,” said Clark, who is licensed as both a lawyer and doctor.