In the world of medicine, there are many regulations and codes that must be upheld. The California Health and Safety Code delineates the laws regarding proper actions. One of the actions it penalizes is the counterfeiting of prescription blanks. When a patient goes to the doctor, and they require prescription drugs, they can receive controlled substances when a doctor writes a prescription for them. However, individuals have counterfeited these prescriptions blanks so that they can write themselves prescriptions or sell these fake blanks to others. The aforementioned actions are illegal according to Health and Safety Code 11162.5 HS.
The prescription blanks are exact copies, or as close to exact as possible, of the prescription blanks the doctor can legitimately use. In order to prove the crime, the prosecution must show that the accused counterfeited the blanks or that the accused possessed these prescription blanks with the knowledge that they were counterfeited. Furthermore, the counterfeit blanks must have been presented to others as official blanks issued by a licensed medical professional. Controlled substances are those regulated by the government under the Controlled Substances Act. Examples of this crime include a patient visiting a doctor and stealing prescription blanks in order to copy them and receive controlled substances. Some individuals commit this crime in order to make money, defraud others, and/or write themselves a prescription.
There are several other crimes similar to counterfeiting prescription blanks. Other forms of prescription fraud exist as well as forging these blanks, not for controlled substances, but narcotics. The crime, briefly described in this article, is a serious one. It is a wobbler, meaning that a person can face either a misdemeanor or a felony. If the accused is facing a misdemeanor, the punishment includes spending up to one year in jail and possibly paying a fine. For a felony, the punishment can include up to three years in jail.