Prescription Opioid Forgery: Reporting to Law Enforcement and Protection of Medical Information
Article first published online: 5 MAR 2013
Wiley Periodicals, Inc
Volume 14, Issue 6, pages 792–798, June 2013
How to Cite
Singh, N., Fishman, S., Rich, B. and Orlowski, A. (2013), Prescription Opioid Forgery: Reporting to Law Enforcement and Protection of Medical Information. Pain Medicine, 14: 792–798. doi: 10.1111/pme.12062
- Issue published online: 20 JUN 2013
- Article first published online: 5 MAR 2013
- Prescription Opioids;
To review confidentiality requirements of prescribers who become aware of a forged prescription.
A case is reviewed in which a prescriber believes that a prescription has been forged.
The literature and law related to prescription forgery and confidentiality are reviewed. Although prescription forgery is a crime, the prescriber's responsibility for reporting to law enforcement is not clear under current state and federal law. Federal laws and regulations, including the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), do not permit prescribers in all circumstances to disclose prescription fraud to law enforcement.
Under common circumstances, HIPAA may prohibit prescribers from reporting prescription forgery to law enforcement. However, collaborating with a dispensing pharmacist may offer a lawful pathway to reporting prescription forgery. State legislature may consider laws that clarify the reporting responsibilities of prescribers in cases of prescription forgery.