General

Prescription Fraud

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12 Sep 2016 - General
 

I was participating in a free clinic yesterday when I got the chance to speak with a guy who hands out flyer, Raymond* (not his real name). During a casual conversation, he brought up the new age of prescription fraud. Digital fraud using a scanner and photoshop software is now being used to make fake prescriptions. Some people are now doing it in a nearby urban province. This is how it works: 1.) The perpetrators secure a prescription from a licensed doctor through consultation. All they need to get is the doctor's license and signature. 2.)  They scan the prescription. 3.) Using a software, they airbrush the prescribed medicine and the erasure is not obvious since most prescription pads are white. 4.) They type and print new prescriptions that could imperil the physician without his knowledge. It is highly possible that someone in the medical field is involved because they get away with prescription writing easily. This is a new threat to the practice of doctors and allied healthcare professionals. I am thinking of using a different shade other than white for my prescription pad and a watermark for future practice. Does anyone have new ideas that could protect us from the dangers of prescription fraud?

Wow!!! I've never heard of this, this is going to lengths to cheat (and make money). I don't get it though, they scan the prescription and then reproduce it so that it is an empty pad with the signature and license number, right? Don't pharmacies find it suspicious that the signature is scanned and not written with fresh ballpen ink? Am I understanding this right? This is such a bad thing and ...
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Priscilla Mae Gobuyan I think some people are doing this to skimp on follow-up with their doctors. Some might use it to get their maintenance medications that is not an intelligent move. Doctors re-assess the patients from time to time to determine if the dosage has to be increased or replacement of a drug needs to be done. Moreover, patients shortchange themselves of new drugs that can benefit them more than the...
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Marinelle Castro Using a signature pen ink can be a temporary solution to prevent fraud of prescriptions. That is true. This is even more of a concern for regulated medicines because the framed physician could get into trouble for dispensing drugs inappropriately. I think we have to start first by making every part of our prescription handwritten, even with writing of license number. The stamp (trodat) that we us...
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Lianne Marie Victoria Laruan This is a slippery slope for the healthcare sector. Going digital might be the best idea right now since the patients do not get hold of the prescription. However, the main problem lies in execution of digital prescription. Most pharmacies, especially the small scale ones, may not be able to comply with digital drug procurement. This is most particularly true in the rural areas where t...
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Oh my this is really dangerous especially for you doctors. Actually our prescritpion pads in the hospital are not white, but let's say recycled brown paper? haha. In our hospital, we do the prescription of home medications and new orders of the attending physicians. As what I have observed, some doctors have their ready made printed prescription handed out to their patients. Maybe this should not be really practiced because this can be prone to fraudulence. So far, I have never encountered o...
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This is one of the disadvantages of technology. Its really easy to fabricate prescriptions these days. I think that prescription fraud is more prevalent for those who prescribe dangerous drugs. There are so many people who are reliant on benzodiazepines, zolpidem and other sleeping pills, and sometimes they would resort to faking a prescription if they already have the license number of their previous doctor. I have a close friend who's a psychiatrist and he told me that he only uses blue ba...
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This sounds even worse than trying to buy medicines without prescriptions! I agree that some measures have to be in place to avoid such fraudulent measures. Though it may be difficult for pharmacies to detect fake prescriptions, I think this is one of the reasons why digital technology already has to be in place. Bar codes are a pretty good idea, as are digital prescriptions sent directly to the pharmacy and changing the color of your prescription pad. I think maybe getting official prescription...
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Tahira Nawaz Thank you for the nice words. Technology is both an ally and an enemy for us doctors. As previously mentioned, any patient can self-medicate using the internet for appropriate dosing, frequency, and duration of medicine intake. Anyone with basic photoshop skills can do digital prescription fraud. Combined with the lax verification of prescription in our country, people will almost always get away wit...
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It is a very beneficial article for patients and all healthcare professionals in order to have right track. Dr. Mark Edmon Tan, you make a right post at right forum spread awareness of fraud prescription. It is the very easy procedure to be adopted by any scam prescription distributor or perpetrators especially in urban areas where people have less awareness about this fraud. It is easy to get prescription of a physician by simple consultation and scan it through the scanner by erasing the medic...
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Jennifer Winter You are correct. Our campaign for rational use of antibiotics will definitely go to waste if this is not addressed right away. What is more concerning is that dosage of medications and the illnesses for its use is out in the internet. Even the common duration of treatment can be found online. The resources and materials are out there for perpetrators of digital fraudulence to capitalize on. With t...
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Mark Edmon Tan ya there are apps on our phones which can do this so it is time to be more vigilant. We were finally able to implement that antibiotics are not over the counter medicines so it is about time this needs to be fixed as well. We need to adjust to the digital age and digital fraud is a large issue. It definitely would be extra work but it is for the benefit of us all. If people can get prescriptions fo...
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Jennifer Winter Anyone with knowledge of photoshop can do it and some people are starting to do it which is quite alarming. What a great idea! Hidden bar codes may be a remedy. I think the more obvious solution to counteract digital fraud is to make digital prescriptions too! This way no one can alter the number of medications to be dispensed (some patients do it too). I hope the pharmacies will be digital prescr...
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I had this fear for some time actually. I am quite skilled with photoshop and I know how easy it is to do that. I have seen fake passports and I could easily tell they are fake because of the botch job they would make as when I zoom in I could see the change in pixelation. Despite signing your signature over your name or over a watermark of some sort I will tell you now if I am capable of cleaning that up (without any formal IT training) anyone could easily do it as well. Then also anyone could ...
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