Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) officers have arrested a 53-year-old man for using a fake prescription in buying a brand of sleeping pills.
Rodolfo Teodosio forged his doctor’s prescription after his first consultation, authorities said.
According to Helen Maita Reyes, director of Compliance Service Division of PDEA, it was Teodosio’s physician who came to their office to ask to investigate the matter after the suspect repeatedly bought the sleeping drug using his prescription.
The compliance service of the PDEA is the regulatory enforcement arm of the agency that issues licenses and permits and monitors the same as regards to the transactions that are conducted by registered clients.
Unknown to regular customers, drugstores call the doctors to check if they indeed wrote a prescription. Dormicum, just like any dangerous drug, is only prescribed by an S2 licensed physician.
"The drug is listed as dangerous drugs so it means that not anybody can just prescribe such drugs without authorization. If a doctor will prescribe such drug, they have to get license from Compliance Service of PDEA," Reyes said.
Sleeping pills tend to be abused, which is why they are not prescribed easily by any doctor.
"Para lang daw pampatulog niya pero what is very suspicious, iyung same doctor different patient bought 3 prescriptions in a day. Parang suspicious na sa amin yon. Tapos na-verify sa doctor na hindi naman issue ng doctor that’s why this triggered the investigation that we conducted," Reyes said.
Teodosio said he forged the doctor’s prescription to save money. He admitted having it made in a computer shop.
"Para makatipid, kasi ang consultation fee ay P700, Doon sa copy P2 lang. Sa computer shops," he said.
"Minsan lang siya nagpakonsulta sa doctor na iyon tapos later on finake na niya yung mga prescription. It was the doctor who really reported this to us na napi-fake na ang kanyang prescription."
The suspect said he used the fake subscription for a year and bought around 30 tablets per month.
PDEA said the drugstores verify if the doctor is S2 licensed or not.
"You have to indicate the S2 license ng doctor. Kinopya niya lang yon, may mga prescribed na data sa regulation. Pag meron silang nakikita ng suspicious na prescription, kahina-hinala na talaga tumatawag sila sa amin," Reyes said.
"Meron kaming SMS query wherein yung retailer pwede mag verify ng S2 license ng medical practitioner dito sa amin. Sasagot ang system namin kung valid iyon," Reyes added.
PDEA spokesperson Derrick Carreon said faking a prescription for dangerous drugs carries a heavy penalty.
“Ang maaaring kakaharapin ng suspect natin dito ay habambuhay na pagkakakulong," he said.
Teodosio will be charged with violation of Unlawful Prescription of Dangerous Drugs.