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Prescription Forgery: The Pharmacist's Role

NCJ Number
On Continuing Practice Volume: 16 Issue: 2 Dated: (1989) Pages: 17-20
G McCoy
Date Published
4 pages
Pharmacists must become aware of the widespread problem of prescription forgery and its role in drug abuse and learn to recognize forged prescriptions and the processes by which they are circulated.
Half of drug addicts are estimated to be dependent on prescription drugs. Many of these drug users prefer the purity, reliability, and predictability of prescription drugs. The diversion of prescription drugs through fraudulently written prescriptions is extensive in Canada today. Many sophisticated methods are used to deceive even the most discerning and vigilant pharmacist. Forgeries usually take the form of an order written on a valid prescription blank signed and dated by a person other than the person indicated by the signature. Questions the pharmacist should consider when presented with prescriptions include whether the drug is known to be abused, whether the pharmacist knows the patient or prescribe, whether the patient lives or works nearby, and whether the date on the prescription is reasonable. Other factors to consider include neatness, unusual information, misspelling, overwriting, and photocopied forms. Offenders use many ploy to make the transaction appear normal. Pharmacists should also take several specific actions if they determine that the prescription is a forgery.