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Could you be guilty of prescription drug fraud?

Most people understand that medical professionals, such as doctors and pharmacists, can commit prescription fraud. But there are actions patients can take that also could result in similar fraud accusations.

If you obtain prescriptions by misrepresenting yourself to a doctor or pharmacist, that can be considered fraud. If you visit multiple providers to get more medication, that also may be considered prescription fraud. Plus, potential fraud charges can be particularly severe when they are related to a controlled substance, such as oxycodone or Valium.

One of the most common forms of prescription fraud is referred to as doctor shopping. Doctors are only allowed to prescribe a certain amount of medication to a patient. This results in people "shopping around" for other doctors to get additional prescriptions for a controlled substance, often painkillers. Whether the intention is to sell these drugs or keep them for personal use for you or a loved one, this is considered a criminal act.

Another form of prescription fraud is fake prescriptions. This includes any type of fraudulent activity, from altering a doctor's original prescription to forging prescriptions using a stolen pad to creating fraudulent prescriptions on your computer. A severe example of fraudulent prescriptions was revealed in Florida this past April. Referred to as 'Operation Script Rip', it involves 23 individuals who were arrested for creating about 417 fake prescriptions. A case need not be that extensive, however, to result in criminal charges. Seek legal representation if you are facing any type of accusations for prescription fraud, whether misdemeanor or felony charges.