"We identified a total of 986 cases over the 1998–2006 study time frame in which physicians had been criminally charged and/or administratively reviewed with offenses involving the prescribing of opioid analgesics. 335 were criminal cases (178 state, 157 federal) and 651 were administrative cases (525 state medical board cases, 126 DEA administrative actions regarding CS registrations).

"Numbers and Specialties of Study Physicians

"The 725 individual physicians involved in these cases over the study time period represent 0.1% of the total 691,873 patient-care physicians active in 2003, or one out of 954 physicians.

"As shown in Table 1, General Practice/Family Medicine physicians comprised the largest proportion of physicians involved in the criminal and administrative cases (39.3%). Pain Medicine specialists, both self-identified and board certified, comprised 3.5% of the physicians involved in these cases."


Goldenbaum, D. M., Christopher, M., Gallagher, R. M., Fishman, S., Payne, R., Joranson, D., Edmondson, D., McKee, J., & Thexton, A. (2008). Physicians charged with opioid analgesic-prescribing offenses. Pain medicine (Malden, Mass.), 9(6), 737–747. doi.org/10.1111/j.1526-4637.2008.00482.x