Fourteen out of 18 forgery alerts submitted to ACP in December of 2018 were for Ratio-Cotridin. Some of the forgeries were caught, thanks to easily recognizable alterations; others were not. There are many reasons why Cotridin could be a target for forgeries but following the standards of practice will ensure drugs are dispensed only to those with legitimate prescriptions.
Another recent trend involves patients claiming the prescription was obtained via tele-medicine, or in one case, FaceTime.
Referencing the Standards of Practice for Pharmacists and Pharmacy Technicians will help determine the authenticity of a prescription and prevent the forgery from happening.
Standard 6.6 states that before dispensing a prescription, a pharmacist or a pharmacy technician must determine the authenticity of the prescription by taking reasonable steps to:
- identify the prescriber;
- determine whether the prescriber is legally authorized to prescribe the drug or blood product for which the prescription has been given; and
- assess whether the prescription has been altered, forged, or stolen.
Standard 6 states that each time a pharmacist or a pharmacy technician dispenses a Schedule 1 drug or blood product pursuant to a prescription:
- the pharmacist must determine that the prescription is appropriate; and
- the pharmacist or the pharmacy technician must determine that the prescription is current, authentic, and complete.
Odd spelling, quantities, and signatures are some red flags that pharmacy professionals have noticed when looking at forged prescriptions. Other forgeries are more difficult to spot but when in doubt, pharmacists should contact the prescriber to confirm the authenticity of a prescription.
If you do catch a forgery, remember to report it to ACP via the Forgery Alerts page.