What is Drug Fraud?

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  • Written By: N. Madison
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 06 February 2020
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When a person engages in fraudulent actions in relation to a drug of some type, this is referred to as drug fraud. For example, drug fraud may occur when a person uses a fraudulent prescription to obtain a drug. A person may also commit drug fraud by selling drugs, even those that are legal, that have been altered without the user’s knowledge. For example, fraud may occur when a person adds baby powder to a medication. In most places, all types of drug fraud are punishable with jail time.

Prescription drugs are often, but not always, the subject of drug fraud, and there are various ways in which fraud may occur. For example, a person may commit drug fraud by using another party’s identity to obtain a prescription medication. An individual may also commit prescription medication fraud by obtaining a doctor’s prescription pad and forging a prescription. Likewise, a person may be guilty of committing prescription fraud if he obtains a prescription from a doctor legitimately but then alters the prescription in order to get a different medication, different dosage, refills, or another quantity of a medication. An individual may also be guilty of committing fraud if he poses as a doctor to confirm a prescription.


Interestingly, it is not always consumers who commit this type of fraud. In some cases, doctors do it as well. For example, a doctor may pose as one of his patients in order to obtain a prescription medication for his own use. He may also do this for the purpose of obtaining higher quantities of drugs that he plans to sell illegally.

A person may also commit this type of fraud by selling a drug that has been altered or laced. For example, filling a prescription drug capsule with powdered milk or another substance may be considered drug fraud; this is usually true without regard to how much of the prescription medication remains in the capsule after the addition.

Interestingly, a person may also be guilty of committing drug fraud if he laces an illegal drug with another substance. For instance, if a person laces cocaine with baby powder, he may be guilty of committing fraud in addition to the crime of possessing and selling the illegal substance. The same holds true if a person sells marijuana and but secretly adds oregano or another substance to it instead of selling only the marijuana.


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