Patients often receive prescriptions from their doctors to deal with health conditions that they suffer from. However, an ethical doctor will not give a patient more medicine than is necessary. Because some people become addicted to prescription medicine, they will try to acquire more medication through methods like doctor shopping.
As explained by FindLaw, doctor shopping is a crime under both state and federal law. It is important to know what doctor shopping entails to help avoid any appearance of committing this crime.
Going to multiple doctors
A person addicted to prescription drugs will attempt to acquire medication by going to more than one doctor. The addicted individual will visit one doctor, get a prescription, and then go to another doctor to get another prescription for the same drug. This is what it means to “shop” for doctors.
Doctors who obey the law will not write a prescription if a patient already has it. To get around this practice, addicted individuals will keep previous doctor visits a secret from the doctor they meet. By deceiving multiple doctors, the addicted person will acquire prescriptions under false pretenses.
Other forms of fraud
Patients may try other methods to acquire illegal prescriptions from doctors. Sometimes people will say they have lost an earlier refill and need a new prescription. Another form of fraud is to fake symptoms. An individual may come into a doctor office claiming to be in pain. A doctor who cannot tell if the patient is faking the symptoms may believe the pain is real and supply the prescription.
Fraud prohibitions under state law
Texas law is clear that a person faces criminal charges and penalties if that person tries to use forms of fraud like misrepresentation or subterfuge to acquire controlled substances such as prescription medicine. For this reason, it is important for patients to be honest with health care providers so that the law does not suspect them of doctor shopping or other forms of prescription drug fraud.