Police crack down on painkiller fraud - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Paducah, KY

Police crack down on painkiller fraud

Police crack down on painkiller fraud
By: Erica Byfield

PADUCAH, Ky. --  With time criminals get smarter and so do the police.  That is why one undercover detective is working with local doctors and pharmacists to catch people using phony prescription to get painkillers.

Lortab, Oxicotin and Darvocet are all common painkillers you could get at a pharmacy, like Davis Drugs in Paducah.  All you need is a valid prescription from a doctor and they are yours.  But this is also where addicts run into problems and normally start "doctor shopping."

Detective John Tolliver describes it as "you go to two different doctors the doctors don't know that your seeing another doctor but if you take two different prescriptions to the same pharmacy of course they're seeing you twice."

Detective Tolliver works undercover and says in the last three weeks he's arrested 10 people in Paducah for trying to double, triple or quadruple up on their painkiller prescriptions.

"It's a big problem in this area and I'm trying to curb it" he said. 

It is people who work behind the counter of the pharmacy that serves as his eyes and ears.

They get calls and written prescriptions all day from doctors and get suspicious quickly when: the doctor's signature doesn't look right, there are different types of inks used on a slip and when people call in prescriptions and give unusual information.

"It's pretty complex they go through a lot of work and effort to try to cover it up" said Tolliver. 

He adds the sad part is "A lot of my cases develop from someone who's had an injury or surgery or some kind of illness that has got them on the pain medications legitimately."

Yet the bottom line is it is illegal and now that area doctors and pharmacist are blowing the whistle t is getting a whole lot harder to cheat the system. 

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