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McIntosh Law | Advocates for The Accused Since 1993

Speak With Our Attorneys –

Phone: 941-306-3230

How do prescription forgeries occur and what security measures are in place?

On Behalf of | Feb 22, 2023 | blog, Prescription Drug Charges

There are various types of prescription forgery, a kind of fraudulent activity that occurs more often than people know.

However, new security measures are in place to help make prescription forgeries more difficult to accomplish.

About prescription forgery

There are several kinds of prescriptions that fraudsters may present to pharmacists, according to the Department of Justice:

  • They write prescriptions for fictitious patients on prescription pads stolen from medical offices
  • Drug abusers may have legitimate prescription pads printed with a call-back number an accomplice will answer to verify the prescription
  • A patient will alter the prescription of a physician
  • A fraudster will use a computer to create a prescription for a nonexistent physician

Security measures

Prescription pads now contain security imprints similar to the kind that appear on bank checks. Prescribers may also write the dosage and quantity of the prescription in words beside the numbers. Prescriptions for certain drugs appear in triplicate and are individually numbered. The medical practitioner keeps one copy, the pharmacist gets the second copy and submits the final copy to a regulating agency, which maintains a list of forged prescriptions. Current security measures show the word “void” in color on the background of the prescription. Copying is not possible because the prescription will only show up as black.


Physicians and pharmacists have a legal responsibility to know state and federal laws concerning the dispensing of controlled substances. Pharmacists must understand the security measures in place. As trusted professionals, they bear the responsibility for knowingly filling and distributing a prescription for any patient that was not issued as part of a treatment.

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