Understanding prescription fraud in the state of Arizona

Painkillers and other prescription medications can be highly addictive. As a result, it is easy for otherwise law-abiding people in Arizona, and elsewhere, to get caught up in prescription drug abuse. If they use fraud in order to obtain these medications, they could face criminal charges with lasting consequences.

There are a number of situations which may constitute prescription fraud in Arizona. Under state law, people may be charged with this offense if they falsify information to get prescription drugs. For example, a man pretends that he has an injury. He goes to the doctor, who prescribes him a painkiller. This may result in prescription fraud charges.

Forging a prescription for the purpose of obtaining drugs without the approval of a doctor may also be considered prescription fraud. There are numerous types of fraudulent prescriptions. According to the Arizona State Board of Pharmacy, some of the most common examples of prescription fraud include the following:

  •          Writing a prescription on a legitimate prescription pad for fictitious patients
  •          Writing a prescription on a legitimate doctor’s pad using a different call back number
  •          Phoning in a prescription oneself and giving his or her own number as the call back number
  •          Copying a legitimate doctor’s prescription using a computer
  •          Making prescriptions for nonexistent doctors

Altering the dosage, number of pills or number of refills on a legitimate prescription may also qualify as prescription fraud.

Generally, prescription fraud is a class one misdemeanor in Arizona. If convicted, people could face up to six months in jail. Furthermore, state law specifies that people who are convicted of this, and other prescription drug-related offenses, be fined $1,000. This fine is levied in addition to any other penalties that are assessed and it cannot be suspended by a judge.