Convicted client sitting with attorney

Doctor Shopping vs. Pharmacy Shopping: What to Know

Prescription medications can be extremely helpful for treating or managing a wide variety of illnesses and diseases. However, when someone attempts to obtain medication illegally or tries to use multiple pharmacies when filling their prescriptions, it can get them in serious trouble. 

What is Doctor Shopping?

Doctor-shopping occurs when a patient is treated by multiple doctors in order to obtain different or multiple prescriptions, usually when they can no longer get the prescription from their original physician. It often involves people falsifying information or injuring themselves in order to obtain drugs. Those who engage in doctor shopping often do the following:

  • Deny already having received prescriptions from other medical providers
  • Claim to have lost their other prescriptions or medications
  • Lying about their medical history
  • Lying about their symptoms
  • Deny ever having previously taken the medication in question
  • Claim that there are issues with communications and/or scheduling
  • Claim to have moved away from the physician’s office

Although this offense is not frequently charged in the Greater Houston area, it is an offense under Texas Law. Under Texas Health and Safety Code 481.129, it is an offense to possess or obtain to possess a controlled substance through fraudulent means. 

What is Pharmacy Shopping?

People often have their prescriptions filled at one pharmacy. This ensures that they have easy access to pick up these medications as well and helps to prevent drug interactions since pharmacists have a knowledge of all the medications that they are taking. However, not everyone gets all of their prescriptions from the same pharmacy. Picking up prescriptions from multiple pharmacies can cause certain issues.

Pharmacy shopping occurs when a patient picks up their prescriptions from multiple pharmacies. For instance, if someone has one painkiller killed at pharmacy A and another filled at pharmacy B, a different chain from the former, this is considered pharmacy shopping. 

Pharmacy shopping matters because the Texas Prescription Monitoring Program collects information surrounding controlled substances so that medical professionals have access to that information. The Program allows medical professionals to keep an eye on when and where opioid prescriptions have been filled. They do so by checking a database prior to prescribing or filling any controlled substances, such as opioids, benzodiazepines, barbiturates, and carisoprodol. 

Certain states limit the number of pharmacies that a patient can visit within a period of time in order to prevent pharmacy shopping. If it’s discovered that someone has been pharmacy shopping, they could face numerous consequences such as jail time and hefty fines. 

The Attorneys at Ceja Law Firm Help Those in Houston Who Have Been Charged with a Crime Such as Doctor- or Pharmacy-Shopping

If you have been charged with a crime, such as doctor- or pharmacy-shopping, it can have very serious consequences. That’s why it’s so important that you act quickly in an effort to defend yourself. 

At Ceja Law Firm PLLC, our criminal defense team understands the serious nature of such a criminal charge and the impact that it can have on one’s life. We also understand that time is of the essence. That’s why we will work to help you obtain the best possible outcome, working to prevent a conviction or minimize the penalties. To learn more or to schedule a free consultation, contact us today!