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Can a physician legally withhold prescriptions pending payment?

Pontiac, IL |

The office clerk for my wife's long-term chronic pain doctor sent us a letter stating "No more prescriptions until balance is paid in full". The doctor is aware of his clerk's activities, but he acts as if he is unaware. My wife has also had a heart attack. The cardiologist explained that any more stress, such as a lack of pain killers, could cause her to have another heat attack or die. The medical field is draining the financial life out of us to the point of having filed bankruptcy, and they just keep pounding the drums. This is wrong. if it is not illegal, it should be.

Attorney Answers 4


  1. I would suggest finding another doctor. You can file a complaint with the Illinois Department of Professional Regulation. You can also try having a lawyer write a letter to the doctor.


  2. The medication is available IF you pay your balance, correct? It certainly seems logical that a physician is entitled to be paid for his services and for any dispensed medication. While there may be some licensing regulations for specific life-essential medications that cannot be withheld, it would seem the doctor does not HAVE to provide prescriptions to your wife.

    I'd find another doctor, and, as Mr. Younes suggested, contact the Illinois Department of Professional Regulation.

    Stephen L. Hoffman
    Law Office of Stephen L. Hoffman LLC
    Chicago, IL
    773-944-9737
    Email: stephen@hofflawyer.com
    Website: www.hofflawyer.com
    Blog: www.hofflawyer.com/blog/

    This answer posted on Avvo is for informational and educational purposes only. There is no attorney-client relationship created or formed and you should not rely on this as legal advice. The suggestion is made that if you wish to protect your rights, you consult with an attorney immediately.

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