Prescription Fraud

Definition
• The diverting of legally obtainable drugs into illegal channels.
• The acquiring or obtaining of a controlled substance by an illegal method.

Justification
• Of the 20 most commonly abused drugs, 13 are obtainable by prescription.
• National Association of Drug Diversion Investigators (NADDI) identifies 57 prescription drugs which are commonly diverted.
• 68% of what every police officer does in this country is drug related.

Pertinent Florida Statutes
• FSS 893.13(1)(a) PROHIBITED ACTS - Except as authorized by this chapter and chapter 499, it is unlawful for any person to sell, manufacture, or deliver, or possess with intent to sell, manufacture, or deliver, a controlled substance.

• FSS 893.13(7a1) DISTRIBUTION - It is unlawful for any person to distribute or dispense a controlled substance in violation of this chapter (1st Deg. Misd, 2nd offense - 3rd Deg. Fel).

• FSS 893.13(7a7) DOCTOR SHOPPING - It is unlawful to withhold information from a practitioner from whom the person seeks to obtain a controlled substance or prescription for a controlled substance that the person has received a controlled substance or a prescription for a controlled substance of like therapeutic use from another practitioner within the last 30 days (1st Deg. Misd, 2nd offense - 3rd Deg. Fel).

• FSS 893.13(7a8) PRESCRIPTION BLANKS - It is unlawful to possess a prescription form which has not been completed and signed by the practitioner whose name appears thereon, unless the person is that
practitioner, is an agent or employee of that practitioner, or is a supplier of prescription forms who is authorized by that practitioner to possess those forms (1st Deg. Misd, 2nd offense - 3rd Deg. Fel).

• FSS 893.13(7a9) PRESCRIPTION FRAUD - It is unlawful to acquire or obtain or attempt to acquire or obtain possession of a controlled substance by misrepresentation, fraud, forgery, subterfuge, or deception (3rd Deg. Fel).

• FSS 499.03(1) UNLAWFUL POSSESSION OF CONTROLLED MEDICATION - A person may not possess, or possess with intent to sell, dispense, or deliver, any habit-forming, toxic, harmful, or new drug or legend drug unless the possession of the drug has been obtained by a valid prescription of a practitioner licensed by law to prescribe the drug.

• FSS 499.03(2) IMPROPER CONTAINER - The possession of a drug under FSS 499.03(1) by a person not exempted under this section, which drug is not properly labeled to indicate that possession is by a valid
prescription of a practitioner licensed by law to prescribe such drug, is prima facie evidence that such possession is unlawful (2nd Deg. Misd, except that possession with the intent to sell, dispense, or deliver is a 3rd Deg. Fel).

• FSS 831.30(1) PRESCRIPTION FRAUD, MEDICINAL DRUGS - Whoever falsely makes, alters, or forges any prescription as defined in S. 465.031(2) for a medicinal drug other than a drug controlled by chapter 893, knowingly causes such prescription to be falsely made, altered, forged or counterfeited, or passes, utters, or publishes such prescription or otherwise knowingly holds out such false or forged prescription as true, with intent to obtain such drug, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree (2nd conviction - 1st Deg. Misd).

• FSS 831.31 COUNTERFEIT CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE, SALE, MANUFACTURE, DELIVERY, OR POSSESSION WITH INTENT, etc. - It is unlawful for any person to sell, manufacture, or deliver, or to possess with intent to sell, manufacture, or deliver, a counterfeit controlled substance. Any person who violates this subsection with respect to a controlled substance named in FSS 893.03 (1), (2), (3) or (4) is guilty of a felony of the 3rd degree. For purposes of this section, a counterfeit controlled substance means a controlled substance named or described in FSS 893.03 which, or the container or labeling of which, without authorization, bears the trademark, trade name, or other identifying mark, imprint, or number, or any likeness thereof, of a Manufacturer other than the person who in fact manufactured the controlled substance, or any substance which is falsely identified as a controlled substance named or described in FSS 893.03.

• FSS 893.135(1c1) TRAFFICKING (Paraphrased) - Except as authorized in this chapter or in chapter 499 and not withstanding the provisions of FSS 893.13, any person who knowingly sells, purchases, manufactures, delivers, or brings into this state, or who is knowingly in actual or constructive possession of 4 grams or more of any morphine, opium, oxycodone (percodan or percocet), hydrocodone (lortab, lorcet, vicodin, etc.), hydromorphone (dilaudid) or any salt, derivative, isomer, or salt of an isomer thereof, including heroin, as described in FSS 893.03 or 4 grams or more of any mixture containing any such substance but less than---see guidelines---commits a felony of the 1st degree, which felony shall be known as "Trafficking In Illegal Drugs."

• FSS 893.07(1) PHARMACY RECORDS (Paraphrased) - Every person who engages in the manufacture, compounding, mixing, cultivating, growing, or by any other process producing or preparing, or in the dispensing, importation, or as a wholesaler, distribution, of controlled substances shall:
- On January 1st, 1974, or as soon thereafter as any person first engages in such activity, and every second year thereafter, make a complete and accurate record of all stocks of controlled substances on hand;
- On or after January 1st, 1974, maintain, on a current basis, a complete and accurate record of each substance manufactured, received, sold, delivered, or otherwise disposed of by him, except that this subsection shall not require the maintenance of a perpetual inventory.

In either case, records shall be kept and made available for a period of at least 2 years for inspection and copying by law enforcement officers whose duty it is to enforce the laws of this state relating to controlled substances.

• 893.09(1) ENFORCEMENT - The Department of Law Enforcement, all state agencies which regulate professions or institutions affected by the provisions of this chapter except those specifically delegated, and shall cooperate with all agencies charged with the enforcement of laws of the United States, this state, and all other states relating to controlled substances.

• 893.09(4) PENALTY FOR NON-COMPLIANCE - It shall be unlawful and punishable as provided in Chapter 843 (Resisting officer without violence to his person, 1st. Deg. Misd) for any person to interfere with any such law enforcement officer in the performance of his official duties. It shall also be unlawful for any person falsely to represent himself to be authorized to enforce the drug abuse laws of this state, the United States, or any other state.

Prescription Fraud - Schedules
• Schedule I - A substance listed in Schedule I has a high potential for abuse and has no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States and its use under medical supervision does not meet accepted safety standards. Examples: Heroin, LSD, Cannabis, Peyote, PCP, Psilocybin, Rohypnol.

• Schedule II - A substance in Schedule II has a high potential for abuse and has a currently accepted but severely restricted medical use in treatment in the United States, and abuse of the substance may lead to severe psychological or physical dependence. Examples: Morphine, Methadone, Dilaudid, Percodan.

• Schedule III - A substance in Schedule III has a potential for abuse less than the substances contained in Schedules 1 and 2 and has a currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States, and abuse of the substance may lead to moderate or low physical dependence or high psychological dependence, or in the case of anabolic steroids, may lead to physical damage. Examples: Vicodin, Lorcet, Codeine, Fiorinal, Anabolic Steroids (any drug or hormonal substance, chemically and pharmacologically related to testosterone, other than estrogens, progestins, and corticosteroids, that promotes muscle growth and includes (see statute).

• Schedule IV - A substance in Schedule IV has a low potential for abuse relative to the substances in Schedule III and has a currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States, and the abuse of the substance may lead to limited physical and psychological dependence relative to the substances in Schedule III. Examples: Valium, Xanax, Darvocet.

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