Forged doctors scripts
Stolen prescription pads and fraudulent scripts are a growing concern among the medical community. The Pharmacy Board stresses that: “Pharmacists must remain vigilant to ensure the legal supply of prescription medication.”
If your prescription pad falls into the wrong hands, fraudsters may be able to fill scripts for medicines that are easily abused, or could be sold for profit. According to a recent survey, there is a rise in the misuse of pharmaceutical drugs among Australians. And worryingly, prescription medication is held responsible for 69% of drug-related deaths.
These stolen scripts are used to obtain powerful painkillers such as oxycodone and morphine. These drugs are extremely dangerous if misused, which is why prescription forgery is a pertinent issue.
State and territory laws require pharmacists to notify the state health department, as well as the police if they believe a script has been forged or fraudulently altered. As a medical practitioner, you should follow the specific processes recommended by your state if you think your prescription pad has been lost, stolen or forged.
However, most doctors do not realise that their script pad is missing until it is brought to their attention. Pharmacy Guild of WA president Lenette Mullen explains: ‘Sometimes pharmacists alert us to suspected forgery and the guild will contact the doctor to confirm someone’s use their script pad for fraudulent script, and often this is the first the doctor realizes a script pad or forms are missing.’
There are several ways to reducing the risk of prescription fraud:
- Do not leave pads or stationery in easily accessible or visible locations such as your car seat or on your desk.
- Do not leave your patients unattended in a consulting room.
- Avoid over-ordering prescription pads.
- Store your prescription pads and stationery in a locked cabinet.
And finally, you should securely destroy your prescription pad if you no longer require it. If you throw away in the general trash, it may fall into the wrong hands. A professional paper shredding service will help put your mind at ease. We offer a visible destruction service, which means that you will be able to see your documents getting destroyed. You will sleep easily knowing that your prescription pads and stationery are safe.