It seems like a very simple thing to do- alter a prescription or visit a few doctors until you find what you need. It almost seems harmless, up until you’re hit with criminal charges for prescription fraud. It happens more frequently than most people would think, and the government takes it very seriously. In a recent case near Raleigh, a group of five was just arrested, and one of them was nailed with a whopping 35 separate charges.
Prescription Fraud Has Many Faces
In the case mentioned earlier, a receptionist at a doctor’s office phoned in prescriptions for a group of friends and family members. Once the medications were picked up, they were then distributed and sold in a prescription drug ring. However, there are many other forms of prescription fraud, some of which most people wouldn’t even consider when thinking of the offense.
- Doctor Shopping- In some cases, people visit numerous doctors or ERs using fake ailments to obtain prescription medications. Even if the medications are for personal use, it’s still considered a crime and can be prosecuted. Some sources indicate that this may be the most common form of prescription fraud.
- False Call-Ins- Many people who call in fraudulent prescriptions actually work for the office they say they’re calling from, though the medication they’re requesting be filled has not been authorized by a doctor. Other times, patients pretend to represent the office and call in their own prescriptions to a pharmacy.
- Theft of Blank Forms- Sometimes, a person is able to obtain a blank prescription pad from an office, which is then used to write out numerous false prescriptions.
- Forging Forms- When a blank pad cannot be obtained, some people falsify the entire document.
- Altering Forms- Another one of the most common types of fraud involved altering a valid prescription. Things like changing the medication count, number of refills, or the type of medication are routinely seen.
People Most Likely To Commit Prescription Fraud
It’s almost impossible to pinpoint who is at risk for committing prescription fraud, because so many types of people do it, thinking it’s not a huge deal, that they’re only saving a doctor time, or correcting a mistake. Regardless of intent, the law can come down hard and criminal charges are often pursued. Some of the people who are more likely to be involved in the practice include:
- Healthcare Workers
- Older Adults
- Young Adults
- People with Prescription Drug Addictions
Raleigh Criminal Charges Attorney
Those who become involved in a prescription fraud case may quickly find themselves facing a litany of charges. A single alteration on a pad can mean big trouble, but if law enforcement believes your intent was to sell, you may be looking at long-term incarceration as well as massive fines. Regardless of your involvement, or the degree of your involvement, you will need an experienced attorney to protect your rights if you’ve become entangled in legal situation like this. Please contact us for a no-obligation consultation using our online form, or speak to one of our attorneys right away by calling 919-833-5555.