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Can you get in trouble for picking up a friend’s prescription?

On Behalf of | Jun 10, 2021 | Criminal Defense |

Your friend may be feeling awful at home, but if they want you to pick up their prescription for them, then they need to take action to protect you when you do. Possessing a prescription that doesn’t belong to you could lead to accusations of a drug crime, and you could face serious penalties as a result.

When you go to pick up a prescription at a pharmacy, the cashier or pharmacist will ask you some specific information. They will ask for your friend or loved one’s identifying information, such as their birthday and name. For the most part, this is a simple process. However, if they haven’t seen you pick up the medications before or the medications are heavily controlled (like in the case of opioids), then you could have difficulty getting them.

In a worst-case scenario, the pharmacist could call the police if they believe you’re trying to pick up a prescription fraudulently. Then, you could face penalties. Even if they don’t, if you’re stopped by an officer for a traffic violation and they see the medications, they may end up arresting you for the illegal possession of prescription drugs as well.

How can you make sure you won’t get in trouble for picking up a friend’s medications?

To start with, your friend should call the pharmacy or indicate on their refill that you will be picking it up for them. You don’t have to do this legally, but it is a good protective measure in case of accusations later on. Governmental laws including HIPAA allow for friends, family members or others to pick up prescriptions at a health care provider’s discretion.

After you pick up a prescription successfully, make sure you keep it in the bottle or box that was provided to you. If there is a sealed or folded bag that has been stapled shut, leave it in that bag. This helps you show that you did not open the delivery.

Finally, ask your friend or loved one to send a message to your phone giving you permission to pick up the medications. With all of these steps, you may be in a better position to defend yourself if you face unfair accusations.