Varying Forms of Prescription Fraud
Prescription medications like painkillers, stimulants, and depressants offer millions of Americans the help they need to live with acute and chronic health conditions. On the flip side, however, is the issue of prescription medication abuse, which represents a health crisis of its own. Prescription abuse and subsequence fraud can also lead to serious legal charges and consequences.
Drug Overdoses: The Dire Statistics
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shares all of the following statistics related to drug overdoses in the United States:
In the years from 1999 to 2018, there were more than 750,000 deaths caused by overdoses.
In 2018 alone, there were almost 70,000 overdose-related deaths.
In the United States, overdoses are a leading cause of injury-related deaths.
Of all the overdose deaths, two-thirds involve opioids, including prescription opioids.
Prescription Fraud: A Closer Look
When you think about prescription fraud, a drug-seeking patient may come to mind, but there is far more to the charge than this. In fact, healthcare providers, pharmacists, nurses, and other medical professionals can also face charges of prescription fraud. In the State of Texas, the following types of prescription fraud are all on the books:
Doctor Shopping – Doctor shopping refers to making appointments with many doctors in an attempt to find one who is amenable to overprescribing and/or to simply obtain as many prescriptions (from different doctors) as possible.
Prescribing a Medication without a Legitimate Reason – When a medical professional prescribes a medication for a purpose other than the drug’s approved and intended usage, it is against the law.
Forging a Prescription – Forging a prescription can involve altering a prescription that is legal to begin with or generating a new prescription that is fraudulent from the outset.
Impersonating a Doctor – The charge of impersonating a doctor relates to masquerading as a doctor (or another medical professional with the ability to prescribe) and fraudulently calling in a prescription.
Purchasing Drugs Online or from an Otherwise Illegal Source – The law is cracking down hard on the thinly veiled illegal sale of online prescriptions that are known for their street value.
Filing a False Police Report – Filing a false police report claiming that your medication was stolen in order to obtain more is a crime.
Sharing Prescriptions – It is also illegal to share a prescription with anyone else.
The fraud charge you face will depend upon the involved drug’s schedule classification, the amount of the drug involved, and the circumstances at hand.
It Is Time to Consult with an Experienced Killeen Criminal Defense Lawyer
If you are facing a prescription – or any other kind of drug – charge, Brett Pritchard at The Law Office of Brett H. Pritchard – proudly serving Killeen, Texas – is a practiced criminal defense lawyer who is committed to forging your most robust defense in pursuit of your case’s most beneficial outcome. Your case is important, so please do not hesitate to contact or call us at 254-501-4040 for more information today.