Texas legislators have worked to make prescription fraud more difficult over the past several years. The state requires medical professionals to use prescription pads that make it harder for people to forge a prescription, and the Texas Office of the Inspector General has a program that involves gathering data about diagnoses and written and dispensed prescriptions for certain controlled substances.
According to Texoma’s Homepage, these measures were not effective at preventing one Texas woman from obtaining prescriptions without a doctor’s participation.
Impersonating a medical professional
In 2015, the woman faced seven counts of prescription fraud. Investigating officers discovered that she had called numerous prescriptions in to a local pharmacy. She had told the pharmacist that she was a nurse at a family practice where she had been a patient. The pharmacy filled 11 phentermine prescriptions for her before law enforcement officers discovered the activity and verified that she was no longer a patient at that clinic.
When the woman went to court, she received a prison sentence of 10 years, but the judge suspended her sentence in favor of probation. Terms of the probation included attending drug treatment classes and providing clean urine samples to prove she had not relapsed.
Violating probation terms
The woman may have been able to avoid incarceration altogether had she not violated the terms of her probation. Because prescription drug abuse is a mental health issue, many people who seek treatment and avoid further offenses are able to receive lighter consequences. However, her violation resulted in re-arrest, and she may have to serve between two and 10 years in prison this time.