Community Pharmacies Prevent Prescription Fraud

February 9, 2017

Even though pharmacists are under increased scrutiny for filling prescriptions that may interact with each other and for preventing opioid abuse, many are catching problems before they arise. For example, a Walmart pharmacist recently uncovered a prescription fraud scheme.

Even though pharmacists are under increased scrutiny for filling prescriptions that may interact with each other and for preventing opioid abuse, many are catching problems before they arise. For example, a Walmart pharmacist recently uncovered a prescription fraud scheme.

The pharmacist at a Walmart store in Fort Gratiot, MI, noticed that a patient tried to fill an identical script for 800 mg of ibuprofen and a cough syrup containing codeine two days in a row from the same doctor. The pharmacist contacted the doctor, who said the scripts were fraudulent, according to The Times Herald.

The pharmacist immediately called the local sheriff’s department. They arrested a 23-year-old Lexington, KY, man at the pharmacy counter, along with a 23-year-old woman and a 36-year-old man in the store’s parking lot. In the suspects’ vehicle, sheriff deputies found a laptop, printer, and faked scripts, along with ibuprofen, promethazine/codeine syrup, and alprazolam and Percocet pills.

The three were charged with prescription fraud. Detectives said they may have gotten away with the same type of scheme elsewhere in Michigan.

Last year, a pharmacy tech at an Albertsons SavOn Pharmacy in Eugene, OR, uncovered a prescription fraud ring. A customer tried to fill a script for 150 30-mg oxycodone pills purported to be written by a doctor in North Hollywood, CA.

However, when the tech told the man he needed to provide a local address, he seemed unsure of his own address. The tech told the customer to return in 30 minutes, and then looked up the doctor’s information in the prescription database. The doctor’s phone number and address were different on the script than in the database, and the doctor’s office informed her the script was fraudulent, according to The Register-Guard.

The tech called the police, who arrested the man and three others on prescription drug fraud charges. The four had filled fraudulent scripts at other Eugene pharmacies.

In January, a pharmacist at a pharmacy in Sioux Falls, SD, called police after a woman posing as a nurse tried to fill the same opioid script for the second day in a row. The 24-year-old woman was arrested as she waited in the drive-through to pick up the pills, according to KSFY ABC.