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DEA probe focuses less on abuse, more on technicalities


So why was the DEA checking the bags of doctors from visiting NFL teams at the airport on their way home?

The feds weren’t looking for evidence of abuse; they were searching for proof that the doctors were dispensing prescription medication in a state other than the state in which they are licensed to practice medicine.

For players with chronic conditions, the prescription is written and the medication is issued in the state where the team and its physician are located. For players who need prescription medication once the team has temporarily located to a different state, the team physician can’t dispense the medication without a license to practice medicine in that state.

In those situations, the visiting team should work with the home team to secure the medication. Some home teams, however, aren’t inclined to help the visiting team get the medication needed by its players. Which in turn may cause some visiting team physicians to take liberties when it comes to dispensing medication in a state other than the state where the physician is licensed.

According to the source, the DEA has been threatening to crack down on this practice for several years. It’s unknown whether the physicians targeting in Sunday’s surprise inspections (the teams included the 49ers, Buccaneers, and Seahawks) had prescription medication in their possession, or whether those medications were distributed in a state other than the state where the physician is licensed.

Moving forward, it’s safe to say that won’t be happening.