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Prescription Fraud: Characteristics, Consequences, and Influences

NCJ Number
Journal of Drug Issues Volume: 27 Issue: 4 Dated: (Fall 1997) Pages: 807-820
B K Payne; D Dabney
Date Published
14 pages
This study examines characteristics, consequences and factors contributing to the prevalence of prescription fraud committed by pharmacy employees.
Using standard thematic content analysis, this study examines 292 cases prosecuted by Medicaid Fraud Control Units throughout the country. Preliminary results reveal that certain kinds of fraud (generic substitution, short-counting and filling prescriptions without a refill) are committed more regularly, or at least more readily, than other kinds. Most of the prosecutions involved pharmacists accused of fraud and many of the offenses were committed in groups. Findings appear to indicate that prescription fraud is extensive enough to warrant concern by the criminal justice system. The article recommends that: (1) Fraud control units continue to actively pursue fraudulent activity by pharmacists; (2) The public be made aware of these acts; (3) Pharmacists, practitioners and scholars come to an agreement on the definition of fraud; and (4) Research on prescription fraud should continue. Tables, notes, references, appendixes