Medical professionals keep eyes open for fake prescriptions


A Lubbock doctor recently accepted a plea deal and had her medical license suspended. Prosecutors said she abused prescription drugs. However, medical professionals said fraudulent drug prescriptions is not as big of a problem as it used to be. 

“As fewer and fewer prescribers are using pen and paper like traditional prescriptions in the past, it keeps potential prescriptions out of the other people’s hands,” said Jared Thornhill, the owner and pharmacist at Shallowater Pharmacy. 

According to Thornhill, almost all prescriptions are sent to pharmacies using technology, eliminating the ability for anyone else except the doctor or pharmacist to get the prescription. 

However, if a paper prescription is used, he said there are multiple red flags they look out for to ensure nobody is gaining access to drugs they are not supposed to have. 

“There are certain combinations we look out for, different quantities,” he said.

Jack McCarty, a physician with University Medical Center, said there are also measures taken internally to ensure even staff do not have unauthorized access.

“With the new computerized prescriptions, because it’s harder for my partner to get my password,” McCarty said. “It requires the physician to use two different passwords, two different applications, especially with controlled substances, not just with antibiotics. You have to have more security for you to send one to the pharmacy, therefore the prescription is going to be more secure.”

Thornhill said there is an electronic trail that keeps doctor’s offices accountable for the prescriptions they order.

While, they said this does not happen very often, medical facilities need to have strong relationships to keep each other accountable.

“We just collaborate back and forth, and it makes the system a lot smoother and more accurate,” said McCarty. 

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