Prescription Drug Fraud Defense
Our nation’s opioid crisis, despite being deemed a public health emergency, shows no signs yet of slowing. The Department of Justice reports that in 2016, nearly 60,000 Americans lost their lives to drug overdoses, an increase from the 52,000 overdose deaths the previous year. The DOJ attributes the majority of these deaths to opioids, including illicit drugs and prescribed medication. Since 2010, more than 3,600 people have died from opioid overdose in Arizona.
In response to the growing problem, law enforcement agencies have been targeting prescription drug fraud. Targets of investigation include doctors who routinely prescribe medication to treat pain, pharmacists who dispense the medication, and people who forge fraudulent prescriptions.
Prescription Drug Fraud
Prescription fraud is the illegal acquisition of prescription drugs for personal use or profit. This type of fraud can be carried out in various ways, such as:
- Legitimate prescription pads are stolen from physicians’ offices and prescriptions are written for fictitious patients.
- In an effort to obtain additional amounts of legitimately prescribed drugs, a patient alters the physician’s prescription.
- Computers are used to create forged prescriptions for nonexistent doctors or to copy legitimate doctor’s prescriptions.
- A person calls in their own prescription to a pharmacy and gives their own telephone number as the call back confirmation number.
Prescription fraud can be carried out in other ways as well. In fact, prescription fraud is one of the most prevalent prescription drug crimes in Arizona.
Prescription Drug Fraud in Arizona
Under Arizona law, “A person shall not knowingly:
- Possess or use a prescription-only drug unless the person obtains the prescription-only drug pursuant to a valid prescription of a prescriber who is licensed in Arizona or is similarly licensed in another state.
- Unless the person holds a license or a permit issued pursuant to Arizona law, possess a prescription-only drug for sale.
- Unless the person holds a license or a permit issued pursuant to Arizona law, possess equipment and chemicals for the purpose of manufacturing a prescription-only drug.
- Unless the person holds a license or a permit issued pursuant to Arizona law, manufacture a prescription-only drug.
- Administer a prescription-only drug to another person whose possession or use of the prescription-only drug violates this section.
- Obtain or procure the administration of a prescription-only drug by fraud, deceit, misrepresentation or subterfuge.
- Unless the person is authorized, transport for sale, import into this state or offer to transport for sale or import into this state, sell, transfer or offer to sell or transfer a prescription-only drug.
- Possess or use a misbranded drug.
- Manufacture, sell or distribute a misbranded drug.”
Prescription Drug Fraud Defense
If you have been charged with a prescription drug crime or prescription fraud, you need an experienced criminal defense attorney to craft a solid legal strategy, including all defenses available to you. When you hire us to defend you we will strive to get the charges against you dropped or reduced to lesser charges, and work to get mitigation of any sentencing.
Our firm believes that law enforcement agencies and prosecutors are aggressively pursuing patients with legitimate medical needs and credentialed physicians who work in the treatment of chronic pain. The aggressive nature of these investigations and prosecutions mean that innocent patients, doctors, clinics, and pharmacists will be unfairly targeted.
The white collar criminal attorneys of Ashley D. Adams, PLC are prepared to defend your rights and combat aggressive prosecutors.
Contact us or call now (480) 219-1366 for a consultation.
The attorneys at Ashley D. Adams, PLC handle state criminal cases throughout Arizona and federal criminal cases throughout the United States, including Arizona, Oklahoma, Utah, and California.