One of the criteria on our official medical marijuana Physician Certification Form includes an attestation by a physician that they’ve reviewed their patient’s profile on the Arizona Board of Pharmacy’s Controlled Substances Prescription Monitoring Program database before signing the certification. We included this requirement to ensure that physicians are acting in their patient’s best interest- and making sure that they’re using best practices and checking to see whether their patient has been prescribed other controlled substances before signing the marijuana certification. Another requirement that we included asks physicians to attest that they’ve reviewed the patient’s medical history including examining the last 12 months of the patient’s medical records before signing. We also think these requirements are important because other states that have medical marijuana programs have found that some physicians are more focused on getting revenue from signing certifications than on their patient’s health.
As a routine quality check in our certification system, we’ve been asking the Board of Pharmacy to verify whether or not certifying physicians are actually accessing the system (as they have attested). We’ve identified 3 MDs and 5 Naturopaths that have been routinely attesting that they’ve checked the Controlled Substances Prescription Monitoring Program when they appear to have not checked that regularly. Dr. Nelson and I sent letters to their licensing boards recently notifying them that it looks like these 8 physicians may be falsely attesting that they’re checking the Prescription Monitoring Program database. In each case, they appear to have written more than 100 certifications (some several hundred) that included attestations that cannot be verified by the Board of Pharmacy.
Our larger concern is that if these physicians aren’t completing this simple requirement (and making false attestations)- it’s likely that they’re taking other short-cuts that may be jeopardizing their patient’s health- such as not reviewing the patient’s medical history before writing medical marijuana certifications (also required in the series of attestations). Since these 8 physicians have signed nearly half of the 10,000 medical marijuana medical certifications, we think it’s important that the boards know about this so they can decide if the physician is acting in the patient’s best interest. The referrals may also have a side effect of discouraging physicians from writing recreational certifications.
WOW you guys will do anything you can to avoid giving the people what they want. The people have voted and you continue to manipulate the process based on your own bias and your own politics. That is absolutely wrong and you should be ashamed of your self’s don’t lie and say you’re trying to help when in reality your just attempting to make Medical Marijuana harder to obtain because you don’t approve… pretty sad and a great way to further weaken the average person’s trust in the US government…
I agree with you completely. I do not have,nor have I requested a certification for medical marajuna, but I do have M.D.’s in my restriced communityt hat will not act in accordance of my retired physicians health care he provided for me for 17 years. Their excus is “I don’t do that” so I suffer because of their bias in treatment.
do we have to resort to this. seend them a warning and move on. i agree if they have to take the added step of refering to this perscription drug line.
This is a good article But Will since i have received my card and have been able to buy edibles I have been able to reduce the massive amount of pain i have in half. I only use it at night to help sleep. I have an 11 year old granddaughter I don’t want to see me use Marijuana and think it is a good idea. It is just my last resort for all my aliments the doctors are having a hard time controlling it was there suggestion that this might be good to try. I thank them for their open mildness on this matter. I wish it was not as money oriented as it is. These people are in it for the money not for the help it can bring to paitents.
I paid the state of AZ $150 to start the process to get my MMJ card. NOw that they have my money, I have no access to any medication. AZ is making every possible effort to make getting MMJ impossible. I feel that I was mislead by AZ in thinking there would be dispensaries availble to get medication. I also now feel like a criminal even though I have done everything in my power to go about this the right way. Our physicians are bring investigated, clubs where patients were meeting are being shut down, laws that voters passed are being changed/delayed. I honestly feel like a criminal.
Will, is there a way we as paying card members to the state of AZ, can get a refund of the $150 and just give our cards back? It seems to me that we were bamboozled.
We will not be giving refunds.
Good job. Keep it up
Great job Mr Humble you should be fired.
Here is what is wrong with the way guys are operating. This business (link removed by editor).
As you can see in this link they are NOT operating as a place to allow people to “exchange meds” they are operating as a fully operational Dispensary and should be RAIDED for operating unlicensed IMMEDIATELY.
How can you stand for this Will? how come Arpaio isn’t doing anything?
Look at this! This gives the people who are doing it correctly a BAD rap.
(link removed by editor)
Bottom line is if the state of AZ wants to keep this out of the public eye, do the last thing anyone wants, don’t allow any Dispensaries to open.
Allow all patients to grow their own. Problem solved. Stay out of peoples lives and let them smoke themselves into a coma if that is what their ailment calls for.
Until court proceedings are finished, ADHS’s role in the medical marijuana law concerns patients and caregivers. If you see a concern as you mention here, ADHS is not the place to report it. You might want to speak with local law enforcement.
As a physician who specializes in chronic pain diagnosis and management, I believe medical marijuana is an appropriate option for some patients. The side effects of medical marijuana is far less than those of opiates. In the therapeutic order, it does make sense to offer this as a medication to those who qualify.
I am glad to see the AZ Dept of Health monitoring doctors to make sure they are performing their due diligence. Looking at website pricing for some of the “Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics”, one would hope that the doctors are following the requirements. I cringe to see these “certification mills” just handing out recommendations to anyone who is willing to pay the fee. That is not responsible medicine. Rules were established to protect the patient and the doctor. Greedy, incompetent doctors should be monitored and dealt with accordingly.
For those people who see this as a negative action, it is to protect the patient. The DOH is not trying to find ways to restrict access to medical marijuana, they are simply enforcing the rules. The controlled substance reports that physicians can pull on patients are FREE to the doctor and patient through the Arizona Board of Pharmacy.
Please support the Dept of Health as they navigate this new procedure – remember that guidelines were set up in the proposition that the Arizona people voted for. The Dept of Health is not manipulating anything. THE DOCTORS FALSIFIED LEGAL DOCUMENTS STATING THEY WERE MONITORING CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE REPORTS WHEN THEY WEREN’T. It literally only takes 60 seconds to run a report.
As an integrative internist, I support the medical marijuana program and the way the Dept of Health is managing this program.
Please get all of your facts before you make comments and complain about the DOH. If you want the medical marijuana program to continue in Arizona, everyone must follow the rules established under the original proposition that passed. Like any program, if it is abused, it may not be available in the future for those who really need it.
Thank you kindly for your support, it is very much appreciated!
I am a chronic pain patient , I don’t have a medical marijuna care/ perscription. However, I cannot get the “drug” I need because of a doctor bias. Why will MD’s give steroirds and narcotics but not acknowledge they are bias twards pharmacutical drugs??? This leaves me, the patient, being under treated and miserable!
Your comment was not deleted…I apologize for the delay, but we are just getting to the comments now..a little backlogged..
Will the names of these doctors be made public? I would certainly like to know if my doctor is on the list.
It is unfortunate that many patients are forced to seek out ‘certification mills’; however, if they are allowed to continue their practices, it defeats the purpose of trying to bring cannabis into the mainstream as a legitimate medicine.
You can search any doctors record at azmd.gov I hope this helps!
I found your comment in the deleted section of the blog, sometimes there are glitches and the blog throws them in trash and spam. Your comment has been posted.
now in this particular case the board is right. these requirements were mentioned in the application process. if they fell to adhere to the rules in this case. they must at least be fined or suspended from writting recommendations say 60-90 days and or $350-$450 fine. let them know that their laizey fairey will cost them, so stay informed and do it right the firs time.
Will. Thank you for posting my comment about the refund. Can you see where I am coming from in feeling like I have been taken advantage of though? Pateints were led to believe there would be dispensaries to get the medication for which they were applying for. AZ is stopping that from happening, but happily taking the money still. See what I mean?
so the patient and the doctor are both loosing !