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Prescription Drug Fraud+ Laws, Charges & Statute of Limitations

June 25, 2020 Federal Criminal Attorneys

Prescription drug fraud is a growing problem in America. It is estimated that three to 10 percent of healthcare revenue is lost due to prescription drug fraud. Prescription drug fraud is not a victimless crime. Everyone has to suffer as the result of it. Fraud can lead to higher healthcare premiums, higher taxes and higher insurance deductibles.

There are several ways that prescription drug fraud can occur. If you are dishonest with your doctor and pharmacist and obtain a prescription, then this is an example of fraud. You can also be charged with prescription drug fraud if you doctor shop. Additionally, if you use a obtain a prescription drug and use it for non-medical purposes, then you can also be charged with fraud.

Prescription drug abuse became more common in the 1990s due to the introduction of Oxycontin. This is a drug that is an oral version of Oxycodone. It can affect the body for up to 12 hours.

Laws Pertaining Prescription Drug Fraud

The Controlled Substances Act has laws that pertain to prescription drug fraud.

Prescription Drug Fraud And Its Charges

Doctor shopping is one of the main ways that people illegally obtain drugs. People can only get so much medication from one doctor. That is why they will go to multiple doctors in order to get their fix. Today’s medical systems can let doctors know about the other medications that other health care providers have prescribed.

However, there are still ways that patients can deceive doctors. For example, they may claim that they lost their prescription and need to get a new one. There are also several other ways that people can get a prescription illegally.

  • Creating a fake prescription-It is easier than ever to create a fake prescription because many facilities use computers to create prescriptions.
  • Impersonating a health care provider and writing a prescription
  • Altering the prescription that a health care provider writes
  • Buying prescriptions online-There are many prescriptions that you can buy online. However, it is illegal to buy them if they require a doctor’s prescription, and you don’t have one.

There are some cases when a health care provider may be charged with prescription fraud. For example, they may write a fraudulent prescription. They may also be charged with prescription drug fraud if they write an unusual prescription.

Who Commits Prescription Drug Fraud?

  • Many of the people who abuse prescription drugs are between the ages of 12 and 25.
  • Women and men abuse drugs at the same rate. However, women are more likely to develop an addiction.
  • Prescription drug abuse is growing among adults who are between the ages of 60 and 69.
  • People who already have a history of prescription drug abuse are more likely to abuse prescription drugs.
  • Health care workers also have high rates of prescription drug abuse. They have easy access to drugs.

Punishments for Prescription Drug Fraud

Prescription drug fraud can be classified as a third or fourth-degree felony. If you are charged with a 3rd degree felony, then you can spend anywhere from three to five years in jail. You can spend up to 18 months in jail if you are charged with a 4th degree felony. You can also be forced to pay a fine.

What Is The Statute of Limitations?

The Statute of Limitations is typically three years. However, there are several factors that can affect this. For example, if a person is out of the country, the Statute of Limitations may expire.

Possible Defenses

  • The drugs were obtained through illegal search and seizure. You can argue that your rights have been violated.
  • If the person is a health care provider, then they can argue that they acted in good faith.
  • You are a first-time offender.-Some places will allow you to participate in a pre-trial diversion program and get your charges dropped.



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