Prescription Fraud: The Basics

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When you think about prescription fraud, a doctor who sells prescriptions for controlled substances may come to mind, but there is a lot more to it than this. Better understanding the charge of prescription fraud can help you better protect yourself, and if you are facing such a charge, you should not delay consulting with an experienced Harker Heights criminal defense lawyer.

Take the Charge Seriously

A conviction for prescription fraud can derail the medical career you have poured your blood, sweat, and tears into all these years, and this is in addition to serious legal penalties, fines, and overwhelming social stigma. Doctors, however, are not the only ones who can find themselves facing prescription fraud charges. In fact, such charges can apply to any of the following:

  • Nurses and other medical professionals

  • Pharmacies, pharmacists, and pharmacy employees

  • Patients themselves

Doctors, Nurses, and Other Medical Professionals

Doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals are guided by profoundly serious rules and restrictions related to their patients’ safety, and facilitating their patients’ ability to obtain prescriptions that are demonstrably bad for their health flies in the face of these medical professionals’ ongoing responsibility to do no harm.

While doctors have the ability to write the fraudulent prescriptions in question (and being prescription happy can contribute to prescription fraud charges), nurses can aid doctors in prescription fraud or can commit fraud on their own by falsifying medical records and/or by crafting scenarios in which prescriptions for controlled substances are deemed appropriate.

Pharmacies, Pharmacists, and Pharmacy Employees

Pharmacies, pharmacists, and pharmacy employees have considerable access to information about their customers’ prescription-filling histories and doctors’ prescription-writing histories, and when they ignore a serious issue that they should have spotted, they can be implicated in prescription fraud. Other ways that charges of prescription fraud can be levied against a pharmacy, pharmacist, or pharmacy employee include:

  • Diluting prescription drugs in order to increase profits

  • Overfilling prescriptions

  • Bypassing the need for prescriptions altogether


If a doctor prescribes a prescription to a patient, it stands to reason that the doctor is responsible for any prescription fraud involved, but this is not necessarily the case. If the patient is doctor shopping, for example, the doctor may be none the wiser, but the ill-gotten prescription remains prescription fraud. Doctor shopping refers to patients who pinball between doctors in an effort to hide their drug-seeking practices. Other common efforts include describing false symptoms or even harming oneself purposefully in order to obtain the desired prescription.

Discuss Your Charge with an Experienced Harker Heights Criminal Defense Lawyer Today

Prescription fraud charges are exceptionally serious, and bringing your strongest defense is paramount. Brett Pritchard at The Law Office of Brett H. Pritchard in Harker Heights, Texas, is a practiced criminal defense lawyer who recognizes the gravity of your situation and who is fully committed to skillfully pursuing your case’s optimal outcome. For more information about how we can help you, please do not hesitate to contact or call us at 254-501-4040 today.


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