If you take prescription medications, you may prefer to have all of your prescriptions at one pharmacy. Not only does this make it easier for you to keep your medications organized, but it helps the pharmacist and doctor detect drug interactions or inconsistencies in your regimen.
Some people, however, choose to pick up their prescriptions from a host of different pharmacies, which can cause complications. While it makes sense to fill a prescription at a pharmacy that is convenient for you at the time, picking up medications at too many pharmacies can create problems.
What is pharmacy shopping?
While doctor-shopping involves patients seeing multiple doctors in an attempt to get different prescriptions, pharmacy shopping is a term used when patients pick up prescriptions at multiple pharmacies. For example, a patient receiving opioid painkillers may get their initial prescription filled at one pharmacy, and then attempt to get another opioid drug filled at a pharmacy from a different chain.
What is the problem?
What people may not realize, however, is that the Texas Prescription Monitoring Program collects information involving controlled substances and allows doctors and pharmacists to access that data. Medical professionals can see where opioid prescriptions have been filled and when. According to the Texas State Board of Pharmacy, medical professionals must check the database before prescribing or filling prescriptions for certain controlled substances, including opioids, barbiturates, benzodiazepines and carisoprodol.
Some states set a limit on how many pharmacies a patient can go to during a certain time interval in an attempt to prevent pharmacy shopping as well. Prescription fraud comes with heavy consequences, including fines and possible jail time.