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Doctor Shopping Is Illegal

(credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

(credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

feldman_amy Amy Feldman
Amy E. Feldman is a business commentator and legal business...
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By Amy E. Feldman

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - How can it be illegal to fill a prescription if actually given by a doctor?

A Lousiana woman was arrested recently and charged with 28 counts of doctor shopping, a crime that sounds so much more fun than it really is: ‘Ooohhh. I’m shopping for one who’s tall, handsome and dressed in a white lab coat…’. Turns out, it’s the practice of going to several doctors, emergency rooms, and pharmacies to get multiple prescriptions for an actual or feigned ailment for personal use or for sale to others.

Here’s the thing.

Most states have a statewide electronic database which collects designated data on substances dispensed in the state. So even if you visit different doctors and fill the prescriptions at different pharmacies, the organizations are going to figure out that you’re getting too many.

You shouldn’t need a doctor to tell you that you put your life on the line if you take more medication than you need, nor should you need a lawyer to tell you that will substantially limit your availability to date when you’re stuck behind bars.

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