Six things you should know about writing fake prescriptions

bottle with prescription pills

Think you can get away with writing fake prescriptions? Maybe you can, maybe you can't. If you're crazy enough to try, here are six things you should know--about how you will get caught.

1. Pharmacists are motivated to catch you

If the pharmacist does fall for the forgery and fills a fake prescription, bad things will happen. After the forgery is eventually discovered, the pharmacist will end up being investigated.

At the very least, he or she will be disciplined for not catching the forgery. If it was found that there was any negligence on the part of the pharmacist, there will be fines or even an arrest.

Suffice it to say, this is enough to make the pharmacist very motivated to catch forgeries. If you try to write a fake prescription, expect the pharmacist will be making their best effort to catch you. Don't count on the idea of finding a pharmacist that's a slacker.


2. Pharmacists are good at catching you

Pharmacists receive a lot of training on how to catch people who write fake prescriptions. Why? Because forging prescriptions is a serious offense. Learning how to detect them is part of their schooling.

They also tend to see a fake prescriptions often. That means they'll be pretty experienced and thus they'll have a pretty good "forgery meter". If you're going to try to fake a prescription, you can count on it that the pharmacist will pick up on something that makes them suspicious.

This leads us to number 3:


3. Pharmacists get fake prescriptions often

While there are no statistics on how often people write fake prescriptions, it's pretty common. In a busy metropolitan area, the pharmacist probably sees a handful of forgeries every month. In most cases, the pharmacist is not fooled.

4. Fake prescriptions usually have obvious mistakes

Probably the most common mistake is the lack of Latin. Instructions for how you take the medication are written in Latin. For example, to indicate that you need to take the medicine twice a day, the doctor would write "bid" on the prescription. Dumb people write "take twice a day".

Misspelled words are also pretty common. If the doctor's name is misspelled, you're going to jail. When was the last time you met someone who misspells their own name? If the name of the prescription is misspelled, suspicion is aroused.

Another mistake is to do a poor job forging the doctor's signature. If the doctor is well-known to the pharmacist, you better be damn good at forging signatures.

5. The pharmacist is Sherlock Holmes

The vast majority of the time, it's the pharmacist that catches fake prescriptions. If the pharmacist suspects anything, he or she will call the doctor to verify things. And don't think they'll tell you once they know it's fake. Instead, they'll just act like they're filling the prescription and quietly call the police. When they call you to pick up your prescription, you'll be picking up jail time instead.

People will often try to fill their prescriptions when the pharmacy is busy so that they pharmacist will be too rushed to make the phone call. Don't count on it. Pharmacists know this trick, so if there is any suspicion, the fact that you are filling the prescription when the pharmacy is busy actually makes you MORE suspicious.

The same is true if you try to fill your prescription later in the evening when the doctor's office is closed. It's an old trick, and it will only add to the pharmacist's suspicions.

6. Expect to go to jail

In most states it is considered a felony if you write a fake prescription or if you attempt to modify one in any way. A felony means it is considered a serious offense and you can be sentenced to more than a year of jail time. Sometimes a LOT more. And you will be fined tens of thousands of dollars.