Cancellation of Registration for Prescribing to Doctor-Shoppers

13 Dec 2016

by Ms Nerissa Ferrie

Pharmacy medication in hands

The NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT) recently cancelled a GP’s registration for 18 months for prescribing to doctor-shoppers. The GP had inappropriately prescribed drugs of dependence to 15 patients when she knew, or ought to have known, that the patients were exhibiting drug seeking behaviours and the drugs were likely to be abused.

Despite the GP’s contention that she was following the prescribing habits of her colleagues, the NCAT’s finding of professional misconduct is a timely reminder that doctors are responsible for their own prescribing.

There is growing evidence of harm caused by prescribed drugs of dependence.

The misuse of opioids and benzodiazepines in the community has resulted in a number of accidental deaths across the country, leading to increased Coronial interest.

How do you or your practice manage doctor-shoppers, and what can the medical profession do to address the increased use of prescribed drugs of dependence?   


This blog contains general information only. We recommend you contact your medical defence organisation or insurer when you require specific advice in relation to medico-legal matters.




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