What is Pharmacy Fraud?

Here is a challenging scenario for you: while slaving away on the job, you find yourself with an excruciating headache.  A co-worker takes note of your condition and offers to help.  By chance, he just happens to have a prescription for Tylenol 4 with a full bottle on hand.  He gives you a few at no charge and offers to sell you the remaining pills at a discount price.  You have no intent on abusing the drugs and besides, the job is known to provoke some of the most agonizing migraines.  An exchange is made and you proceed with your day, thankful for the relieving medication. 

So where's the harm in this?  It's perfectly legal to buy prescription drugs from someone else, right?  Before making such a transaction on or offline, it is important to know how government agencies weigh in on this matter.  According to the FDA (Food and Drug Administration), the dispense of prescription drugs without a valid prescription and license is a federal crime, one authority figures are taking quite serious. 

Internet Contribution

The Internet has become a playground for various types of crime over the years; pharmacy fraud is no different.  Several online pharmacies fail to adhere to standards and state licensing requirements, allowing consumers to obtain prescription drugs without valid documentation or a doctor's consent.  The origin of these drugs are often unknown, increasing the chance that a consumer may receive pharmaceuticals that are diluted or counterfeit. 

Purchasing prescription drugs from these illegitimate web sites is easy - all you are required to do is complete a simple questionnaire; maybe pay a fee for consultation or an application.  There are typically no lab texts, examinations, follow up sessions or medical records involved.  These sites are also known to employ doctors with questionable track records, financial woes or substance abuse issues.  In either instance, many online pharmacies pose a serious threat to anyone willing to purchase their prescription drugs. 

When carried out online, pharmacy fraud incorporates several internet crimes.  These schemes often evolve from spam emails, targeting potential healthcare consumers.  They come offering a wide range of quality drugs that can easily be purchased without a prescription.  Recipients of the emails may be required to submit their personal details or pay registration fees.  In many cases, this will be the last contact a victim has with the company.  From there they are unable to recover the registration fee and faced with the harsh reality that the damaging crime of identity theft may be next. 

So with all of the risks and legal issues, just why are there so many illegitimate pharmacies online?  The answer is simple - the internet gives criminals the ability to parade themselves as whomever they'd like.  This makes crimes like pharmacy fraud a lucrative field for shady characters with little to no medical experience. 


In order to keep yourself from being the center of a criminal investigation, you should never buy or distribute prescription drugs from unknown and unlicensed sources.  Before being prescribed any drug, it is critical that you inquire within a known medical facility and consult with a licensed physician.  This will enable you to receive a proper diagnosis and prescriptions if needed.

Information dissemination for prescription abuse and substance abuse treatment can save lives. Find out more.

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