What Pharmacies Need to Know
Prescription fraud is a significant and growing problem.
Pharmacies are the number one target for obtaining
prescription medication through the passing of
fraudulent prescriptions, and they are more frequently
becoming the targets of robberies and burglaries.
Oxycontin, Hydrocodone, Xanax, and Vicodin are currently
the most sought-after medications.
Pharmacists are the "gatekeepers" or last lines of
defense against prescription fraud. They should
regularly check patients' identification, verify
doctors' information, and use their experience and
knowledge to judge when a patient's behavior is
suspicious or a prescription is fraudulent.
Fake, Altered or Stolen Prescriptions
Look for altered numbers on prescription or pill counts
that seem excessive.
Know the prescriber and his/her signature.
Know the prescriber’s DEA number.
Telephone the prescriber for verification.
Check the date on the prescription; has been presented
within a reasonable time?
The patient should give a plausible reason for any
discrepancy before you dispense the drug.
Other indicators may include the following:
Large cash purchases for high dose, opiate
After-hours or weekend purchases.
If you are in doubt, request proper identification,
doing so increases offenders’ risk of getting caught.
Phoning In Prescriptions
Typically, offenders impersonating medical staff call in
a prescription when the doctor’s office is closed.
Some offenders leave their own phone numbers for
Offenders tend to act overly-friendly on the phone to
give the impression they regularly call in
Another approach is to claim to be from out of town and
to have forgotten to pack prescription drugs, or to
claim to have lost the drugs from a legitimate
If you believe that you have discovered a pattern of
prescription abuses, contact the state pharmacy board or
If you believe a prescription is forged or altered, do
not dispense it, call your local law enforcement.