Forging or altering a prescription is a felony, but this does not deter people addicted to prescription drugs. A clinician can reduce the risk of having a prescription tampered with by taking several precautions. Most strategies are similar to those used to protect a personal check.


Ways a prescription may be forged or altered:

(1) photocopying

(2) changing the name, quantity, strength and/or number of refills

(3) use of white out

(4) floating off ink with nail polish remover

(5) modification of a high resolution digital photograph with Photoshop


Reducing the risk:

(1) Keep prescription pads secured.

(2) Do not use the prescription pad for taking notes.

(3) Maintain an inventory on the prescription pad supply.

(4) Do not presign blank prescriptions.

(5) Use tamper proof paper.

(6) Use photocopying resistant paper (shows "VOID" if copied).

(7) Use multi-colored paper.

(8) Print with sequential numbers.

(9) Do not leave number of refills or other spaces blank.

(10) Write out a quantity in 2 different formats (number and text, as on a check).

(11) Keep a duplicate or copy of the prescription for comparison.

(12) Record the prescription information in the patient's chart.

(13) Participate in the state prescription monitoring program.

(14) Shred pages that cannot be used rather than throw them in the trash.

(15) Report stolen or lost prescription pads (sequence numbers helpful).

(16) Keep any electronic prescription programs highly secure and audit usage.


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