What Is Doctor Shopping? - Aaron Delgado & Associates

What Is Doctor Shopping?

by Aaron Delgado
12/16/21 (Updated: 04/01/22)

The opioid epidemic is a significant issue. Illegal and prescription medications are flooding the streets, and virtually all of them are dangerous and addictive. People who overdose on these medications could end up in the hospital. Many people wonder where these individuals get all of their pills. Unfortunately, a lot of them have valid prescriptions that are filled by a local doctor.

It is true that doctors make sure patients are not given these prescriptions unnecessarily; however, a lot of patients end up with more pills than they need. How is this possible, and what are states doing to try to crack down on this issue? Learn more about the dangers of doctor shopping below.

What Is Doctor Shopping?

So, what exactly is doctor shopping? This is the practice of going from place to place, trying to talk to as many doctors and pharmacists as possible to get prescriptions filled. For example, if you have a child with strep throat, he or she might be prescribed an antibiotic. Then, you go to the pharmacy and pick it up.

If you have a piece of paper in your hands, you can present this to any pharmacy you want to get the prescription filled. Today, a lot of these prescriptions are sent electronically. Therefore, it can be difficult for pharmacies to figure out if you have already gotten the prescription filled somewhere else. If you are looking for antibiotics for strep throat, it might not be a big deal; however, if you have a prescription for opioid or narcotic medications, it is critically important for doctors and pharmacies to make sure you do not get the prescription filled more than once.

Furthermore, some people go to multiple doctors for the same thing. For example, you may take your child with strep throat to one doctor to get a prescription. Then, you might take your child to another place for a second opinion. Again, there is nothing wrong with getting a second opinion, but if you are holding multiple prescriptions for the same thing, this is a problem, particularly if the prescription is for a dangerous, controlled substance such as a narcotic medication.

Going to multiple doctors and pharmacies to get multiple prescriptions filled for the same ailment is called doctor shopping. It is a serious problem that has contributed to the opioid epidemic, and states are cracking down on it.

Who Doctor Shops and Why?

So, who exactly engages in doctor shopping? There are all types of people who engage in doctor shopping. As alluded to above, there is nothing wrong with getting a second opinion from someone else; however, if you are seeing multiple doctors in an effort to get multiple prescriptions filled for the same thing, this is a serious problem.

Perhaps you are legitimately interested in getting a second opinion from someone else. Or, you may want to make sure that nothing is being overlooked. These are legitimate reasons to go see another doctor; however, there are other people who go and visit multiple doctors in an effort to get multiple prescriptions filled. If they want to get as many pills as possible, they go to as many doctors as possible to collect as many prescriptions as possible. Then, they get all of these pills at the same time, and either take them themselves, or sell them on the street. This is illegal.

What Are the Dangers of Doctor Shopping?

There are a lot of dangers that come with doctor shopping; however, the biggest danger is that this has led to a lot of dangerous medications that flood the streets. One of the biggest issues facing the healthcare system today is the opioid epidemic. This is an epidemic that has been created by a large number of prescriptions being written for opioid and narcotic medications. Some of the biggest examples include oxycontin, hydrocodone, Percocet, Valium, and Vicodin. There are some people who go to multiple doctors to try to get multiple prescriptions for all of these medications. These medications are only meant to be for short-term pain control. They are dangerous, addictive, and can lead to serious medical complications if someone overdoses on them.

This is the biggest danger of doctor shopping, and it is how the opioid epidemic has impacted countless individuals and families. Doctor shopping has made it easier for people to get more of these pills. It has also made it easier for people to buy these medications on the street. As a result, states are taking steps to crack down on doctor shopping.

How Are States Cracking Down on Doctor Shopping?

There are a lot of steps that are being taken to crack down on doctor shopping. Doctors' offices and pharmacies are taking steps to track the number of prescriptions they write for certain medications. That way, they make sure they are not refilling prescriptions before they should.

Local law enforcement agencies are also taking steps to track prescription drug abuse. With access to a new tracking system, law enforcement officials are able to track pharmacy histories and medical records to see if someone is refilling prescriptions more often than they should.

With this type of supervision, it is possible for law enforcement agencies to identify people who are engaging in doctor shopping while also catching medical professionals who might be running a pill mill.

Even though the goal is to keep the local community safe, it is possible for people who have legally been given prescriptions to be accused of doctor shopping. In this situation, it is important to rely on a trained criminal defense attorney in Florida.

Aaron Delgado and Associates Are Criminal Defense Attorneys for Doctor Shopping Charges in Florida

If you find yourself facing doctor shopping charges in Florida, the penalties can be serious. Even though you might have a legitimate reason for that prescription, you still need to rely on a legal professional who can vigorously defend your rights. In addition, if you are a medical professional who has been accused of prescribing too many medications to a specific person, you might be facing significant penalties as well. Therefore, you need to rely on a criminal defense attorney who has experience dealing with doctor shopping and “pill mill” charges. That is where we can help you.

At Aaron Delgado & Associates, we have a tremendous amount of experience defending clients against these types of charges. We can take a look at the details of your case, defend your rights, and protect your interests. Contact us today for a free case review. It would be our honor to represent you.

Free Consultation Start Your Case Online