Pharmacists, pharmacy technicians and others who work in pharmacies process a broad range of types of prescriptions on a daily basis.
While most prescriptions that come through a pharmacy may well be legitimate, some may be fraudulent, exposing pharmacy staff member to potential fraud allegations.
Where pharmaceutical fraud starts
As explained by Blue Cross Blue Shield, a single act of prescription drug fraud may have its origin at one of many points. These include at the pharmacy itself, with the prescribing health care provider or with the health care facility at which the prescription was obtained.
Qualities of potentially fraudulent prescriptions
According to the United States Department of Justice Diversion Control Division of the Drug Enforcement Administration, a pharmacist may notice qualities of a prescription that seem out of the ordinary. These include exceptionally high quantities or doses of a drug being prescribed. A prescription written in long hand versus one that uses standard medical abbreviations may also be a warning flag. Pharmacy staff should look out for drug combinations that would not normally be prescribed together, such as a stimulant and a depressant. Frequency of prescription refills should be carefully monitored as well to avoid a person obtaining more of a drug than would medically be recommended.
Physical prescription clues
In some cases, the visual appearance of a prescription may signal an alert. One example is a hardcopy prescription that is not an original, but a photocopy of the original. Similarly, some technologies may be used to create and print prescriptions. If any element on the prescription has been altered, pharmacy staff should take note.