Ask a Cop?: Prescription Fraud?

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—–Original Message—–
Sent: Friday, September 11, 2009 4:41 PM
To: info@coptalk.info
Subject: need prescription fraud info

Hi all. I would like to know more about a current situation I am helping a friend through. He was "flagged" at the pharmacy and told that the prescription he was trying to fill for Ultram was filled 8 days previous at a Walgreens in the area. They did call his doc, and he just told his doc that he would try to clear his name, but there was no indication of any charges being brought against him. IF he were to be arrested, would it have happened already, or no?
Please help us! We’ve been trying to find out info on this all afternoon. He is petrified and I am scared for him.

Our Reply:

Well, not really enough info to give a detailed answer so we will give a vague answer. First, you didn’t say if he filled the prescription himself and then tried to fill another one 8 days later. If so, and he was trying to fill a fraudulent prescription, then he could get into trouble. If he had no knowledge of the prescription being filled earlier and he was simply a victim of identity theft or fraud, then he has nothing to worry about (other than someone using his name). 

Pharmacies have pretty strict identification policies and they also have cameras so it shouldn’t be that difficult for the police to identify who filled the previous prescription. If police had contacted your friend at the pharmacy and suspected a forged prescription he would have been arrested on the spot. If the doctor or pharmacist called the police and a police investigation was initiated, they will find out who filled the first prescription. That will either implicate or clear your friend. If the police determine that a crime has been committed and they identify a suspect(s), the police will forward their investigation to the district attorney who will then decide whether to file charges or not. If the DA decides to file charges then a warrant will be issued for the suspect(s) arrest. The suspect(s) may not know they are wanted until they are stopped by the police and the warrant is discovered.

If there is any concern on your friends part that he may be implicated in a police investigation, he should check with his doctor or the pharmacy to see if a police report was filed. If so, he can then contact the investigator to see if he was listed as a suspect and give a statement if he chooses to. You didn’t mention if your friend called the police when he found out that the prescription was already filled. If not, that is the first thing he should have done. If not, it makes it appear that he was aware that it had already been filled.

There is one last issue that is the fact your friend might just be hiding the real truth from you, either trying to protect your friendship or simply because he does not want to admit to a much larger issue, that of addiction (Ultram is a pain medication and this is very common) or street sales of his prescribed medications.

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