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5 examples of prescription forgery

On Behalf of | Apr 26, 2023 | Criminal Defense |

Many people take prescription medication to cure or treat an ailment. However, some have an addiction and use underhanded means to obtain it, e.g., prescription forgery.

Prescription forgery is when someone — like a patient or a doctor — uses a copy of a prescription to acquire controlled substances from a pharmacy. This action violates North Carolina General Statute Sections 90-108(a)(10), and anyone who commits it is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. If they committed prescription forgery intentionally, it’s a Class 1 felony.

Here are five examples of prescription forgery.

1. Posing as the intended patient

It’s one thing to pick up prescription medication for a loved one, though policies vary from pharmacy to pharmacy. However, it’s another thing for an individual to pretend to be the listed patient to obtain said medication for themselves.

2. Stealing a prescription pad

Some people steal blank prescription pads when no one’s looking. Afterward, they print a physician’s DEA (Drug Enhancement Agency) number on them to create prescriptions for non-existent patients.

3. Prescription altering

When someone alters a prescription, they obtain the number of a legitimate prescription. Then, they add numbers to augment the number of refills or pills.

4. Writing a prescription for a patient who doesn’t need it

Many unscrupulous doctors write prescriptions for a patient who lacks a condition that requires a certain drug. For example, a physician gives a graduate student a prescription for Adderall to aid with studying while telling them to lie about having ADHD.

5. Doctor shopping

A patient could be so desperate to feed their addiction that they spend lots of time searching for a doctor willing to enable them.

Though some patients and doctors purposely engage in prescription forgery, others might have unintentionally committed the crime. If you’re a patient or medical professional with a prescription forgery charge, reach out to legal guidance for assistance.