When we think of drug crimes, we often think of illegal substances such as cocaine and ecstasy. However, according to the National Institutes of Health, one of the most serious drug issues in the U.S. is that of prescription drug abuse. This is often because these drugs are easier to get a hold of and prescription fraud is committed to do so. Here is what to know about prescription fraud in Texas.
Committing Prescription Fraud
There are many manners in which one can commit prescription fraud. The act can be committed by obtaining these drugs under false pretenses, stealing prescription pads or illegally gaining access to a physician’s computer to forge prescriptions, or filing the same prescription at multiple pharmacies or for an altered number of prescribed pills.
Doctors can be responsible by over-prescribing medication for a patient or prescribing it on false grounds. Medical professionals can also do a poor job keeping a record of the number of pills that have been requested prescribed, resulting in them ordering the patient too many.
According to Texas Penal Code § 481.129(a)-(c), a person commits prescription fraud if he or she knowingly
- Uses a fictitious, revoked, or suspended registration number to manufacture, distribute, or prescribe the drug;
- Forges a prescription;
- Obtains and uses someone else’s prescription for a Schedule II drug;
- Possesses the prescription drug by misrepresentation, fraud, forgery, or deception;
- Manufactures, sells, or possesses counterfeit substances;
- Provides false information in order to obtain or prescribe the prescription drug; or
- If as a professional provides a prescription form or prescription for any non-medical purpose.
What Can You Do?
A lot of prescription drugs, such as painkillers, sedatives, and stimulants can prove extremely addictive. Therefore those who believe that they are at-risk of becoming dependent upon them should consult with their physician to discuss alternative treatment.
Physicians should be sure to keep their prescription pads in a safe place and to update their passwords and other security measures for their computers on a regular basis. It is also important that you encourage patients who ask for multiple refills of a drug to seek alternative methods of treatment.
Those who are suspected of committing prescription fraud face very serious outcomes. Medical professionals are at risk to lose their license, let alone their reputation. However, those who have been accused may fight to reduce the charges, the penalties, or may even work towards acquittal.
The Attorneys at Ceja Law Firm Help Those in Houston Who Have Been Charged with a Crime
If you have been charged with a crime in Texas, it is important to take the situation very seriously.
At Ceja Law Firm PLLC, we understand the serious nature of such a criminal charge and the impact that it can have on your life. That’s why we will work to help you obtain the best possible outcome. To learn more or to schedule a free consultation, contact us today!