People struggling with addiction may engage in theft or fraudulent behavior to secure their drug of choice. Although some people buy prescriptions that they want to abuse on the unregulated, underground market, others try to get their drug of choice from the pharmacy.
People steal prescription pads from doctors. They alter valid prescriptions to make them for different medications or a larger amount of a drug. They even make completely fake prescription pads and put false phone numbers on them so that they or someone they know can field any verification call made by a pharmacist or pharmacy tech.
Most attempts at curtailing prescription fraud aim to keep people from duplicating, stealing or otherwise misusing prescription paperwork. However, some prescription fraud actually involves doctors, not the patients.
What are some forms of physician prescription fraud?
Doctors can commit prescription fraud in many ways. They can knowingly write a prescription for a drug that a patient doesn’t truly need, possibly in return for a bribe, kickback or favor.
They might write prescriptions for people so that those individuals can fill the prescription and then sell the drug back to the physician for personal use or distribution. They might even prescribe one person multiple medications that the individual could never safely take together.
If a pharmacist or insurance company notices questionable prescriptions coming out of one doctor’s practice, an investigation and criminal charges could results. Doctors convicted of prescription fraud could lose the right to practice medicine, in addition to other consequences. Identifying potentially risky behaviors can help you avoid health care fraud charges as a medical professional.