While technology makes electronic prescribing easy and efficient, many medical professionals continue to call in prescriptions for patients. Calling the pharmacy is quick and convenient if a patient needs a prescription fast or if a doctor is not in the office.
Some people, however, may use this simple way of calling in a prescription to their advantage. What many do not realize is that calling in a fake prescription is a form of drug fraud, which is a federal offense. It often comes with hefty consequences, including fines and potential jail time.
When people call in a fake prescription with the intention to pick up a medication that was not legally prescribed to them, they often choose a new pharmacy they have never been to. Furthermore, they call in the false order when the actual doctor’s office is closed. This keeps the pharmacy from being able to call the office and verify the prescription is valid.
According to the Texas state statutes Health and Safety Code, the penalties for committing prescription drug fraud in Texas depend on the following:
- What class of controlled substance the prescription is written for
- Whether the offender has a previous record of drug fraud
- Whether the offender is charged for more than one offense at that time
- The considerations of the judge presiding over the case
The judge presiding over the case will take into account the specific circumstances of the case and make a judgment based on his or her findings.
Understanding prescription drug fraud and the penalties associated with it may help to deter a crime from happening.