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MBS Cautions Against Prescription Tampering

The Medical Benefits Scheme (MBS) is advising the general public and its beneficiaries that it is an offence to forge, tamper, deface or make any changes to a prescription issued by a doctor for the purposes of obtaining medication from the MBS.

Such an abuse of the system will not be tolerated and offenders will face the full force of the law under which they could be fined five thousand dollars and imprisoned for a term of two years.

In recent times, MBS has observed noticeable incidences of prescription fraud where some beneficiaries have falsely placed their names on prescriptions in an attempt to pass on benefits to persons who are not entitled to medication from MBS. Others have falsified prescriptions to receive more medication other than what was prescribed by the doctor. In other instances, beneficiaries have maliciously extended the life of the prescription beyond the period indicated by the doctor.

In this regard, beneficiaries are advised that a prescription is a legal document and that under no circumstances should they attempt to tamper with the information written by the doctor on a prescription. Such tampering may ultimately result in beneficiaries putting their health in jeopardy. Beneficiaries who have a problem with their prescriptions are encouraged to speak with their doctor or the MBS pharmacist in an effort to address their concerns.

As a consequence of this alarming health risk development, MBS pharmacists are currently on high alert for fraudulent prescriptions.

Under the law, a document is considered a forgery and false if the whole or any material part thereof purports to be made by or on behalf or on account of a person who did not make it or authorise its making.

Similarly, under the Medical Benefits Act 2010 a person who knowingly makes any false statement or false representation; or produces or furnishes or causes or knowingly allows to be produce or furnished, any document or information which he knows to be false in any material particular commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine of five thousand dollars and to imprisonment for a term of two years.

The public is asked to be guided accordingly.

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