Prescription Drug Fraud is a severe drug crime. Misinformation about your health state and/or your personality in order to get controlled substances from a pharmacist or doctor shopping are examples of law violation. In other words, drug fraud is a type of crime where legal or illegal drugs, are cut and altered in order to decline their value below which they are sold for. It became a national problem that increases each year and affects everybody in the health care system: doctors, nurses, pharmacists, patients, health insurance companies, etc. The term of Prescription Drug Fraud doesn’t include theft, burglary, back door pharmacies and illegal drug importation and distribution.
Annually, health care industry loses billions of dollars due to this issue. Although medical fraud, over-the-counter drug misuse, theft, burglary and robbery are different types of crime, they are all interrelated. In case that you, or someone you care about are being accused of Prescription Drug Fraud and Misuse, consider hiring a qualified Criminal Attorney.
TYPES OF PRESCRIPTION FRAUD
The non-medical use of opioids (pain killers) can involve different aspects:
- Stealing prescription pads;
- Replacing or modifying some characters on the existing prescriptions in order to get another type, quantity or adding an additional drug (i.e. changing from 15 to 150, from Tylenol II to Tylenol IV);
- Stealing blank prescription forms;
- Receiving prescription under false pretenses;
- Falsifying prescription information;
- Taking a larger dose than you are supposed to;
- Taking the medicine in a different way than you are supposed to (ex. crushing tablets and then snorting or injecting them);
- Obtaining prescribed drugs illegally on the Internet;
- Buying/ receiving drugs that were prescribed to someone else;
- Doing a so-called “Doctor shopping”- visiting different doctors, emergency rooms, pharmacies in order to get more prescriptions;
- Reselling prescription drugs to the others after receiving them with a prescription;
- Altering already existing prescriptions.
TYPES OF OPIOIDS
According to the Federal list of the five drug classification, controlled substances include: opiates, depressants, and stimulants. They are also called Rx-only drugs or legend drugs. Initially, opioids were made from the juice of the opium poppy (Papaver Somniferum), but in the contemporary conditions they are produced in the laboratories. Different kinds of opioids are used for different kinds of pain.
For severe physical suffering, following painkillers are practiced:
- Fentanyl and Alfentanil;
- Codeine (for mild or moderate pain);
- Xanax/ Alprazolam;
STATISTICS AND COUNTERMEASURES
Each year, health care industry spends $70 billion of the $2 trillion – on fraud, plus $72.5 billion are spent on drug diversion, and $54 billion on improper payment. Moreover, 12 million citizens claimed to be using opiate pain relievers without a prescription, and deaths from prescription narcotic abuse are higher than death from heroin and cocaine abuse combined. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2012 the total amount spent on prescription drugs was $263.3 billion.
Drugs kill one person every 14 minutes. This disturbing statistic initiated a wide range of countermeasures, involving local and federal law. The most effective actions are the following:
- Improving data gathering, analysis and information processing, in order to identify more efficiently attempts of fraud or mistakes. Medicare system rejected the pay and chase model, in order to direct the efforts to use a contemporary, sophisticated analysis techniques developed by the private sector, modifying completely the standardized review of documents;
- Establishing effective monitoring systems of drug storage;
- Providing additional training for nurses, pharmacists, and doctors, in order to prevent any kind of human error factor. (To do this, NIDA (National Institute on Drug Abuse) supports “Centers of Excellence for Physician Information”);
- Asking for additional federal and state resources;
- Providing desktop audits;
- Improving the process of investigations;
- Implementing a better control upon drug manufacturers.
- Up to one year jail time;
- Fines up to $5,000.
Possession with intent to distribute is a more serious type of crime classified as a felony, and involve following punitive measures:
- Fines up to $15,000;
- Imprisonment up to 5 years.
HOW TO SPOT A POTENTIAL DRUG ABUSE
If someone that you care about is acting suspicious, take notes on how prescribed drug addiction might look like:
- Losing prescriptions and soliciting replacements regularly;
- Changing sleep patterns;
- Crushing or breaking the pills;
- Consuming much faster than indicated;
- Frequent requests for refills from doctors, nurses or other physicians;
- Inconsistent answers to questions about prescription usage.
- Ordering prescribed drugs over the internet;
- Noticeable mood switch generated by the lack of drugs;
- More frequent alcohol consumption;
- Increasing irritability.
Prescription drug abuse became an epidemic phenomenon that draws in a multitude of individuals, leading to severe health consequences (such as addiction; death overdose; experiencing all the wide range of the medication side effects, such as changes in mood, decreased cognitive functions, high blood pressure, cardiovascular failure, feeling of paranoia, insomnia, depression, interruptions in the menstrual cycle, infertility, slowed breathing, coma, paranoia; accidents; poor academic performance; legal trouble).
In case that you, or a loved one is accused of prescription drug abuse, consider hiring a qualified criminal attorney in order to get out of trouble. All you have to do is go to Legal Bistro, create an account, and describe your case. Don’t forget that you remain absolutely anonymous until you decide to reveal your identity to the lawyer that you choose.
Note: It is 100% free for the consumers, so you have nothing to lose. Let qualified criminal attorneys handle your case!