RICHLAND, Wash. - NBC Right Now is digging deeper into prescription drug fraud, a growing problem in the area.
Pharmacies and law enforcement are working together to stop criminals from getting access to these powerful medications. Pharmacists say pain killers and stimulants are at the core of the prescription drug fraud problem. They are forcing pharmacists to take extra precautions to prevent the illegal activity.
Malley's Compounding Pharmacy in Richland says they are taking steps to prevent prescription drug abusers from getting medications illegally.
"We've had to call the police many times and we actually had one case where we worked with the DEA on it. We do see it. It's a real problem that pharmacies in our community see all the time," said Anne Henriksen with Malley's Compounding Pharmacy.
The pharmacy is also using technology to stop the cycle of prescription fraud fueled by dangerous addictions. THey use a new digital imagining system to count and document how many pills and what type go into each prescription filled. They say they also pay close attention to their customer's and doctor's prescription habits.
"I know what medications would be normal for them, what wouldn't be. When we know the doctors we know what their prescribing habits are. If I know a doctor typically would prescribe 20 hydrocodone and I see a prescription for 200, that would raise a red flag for me," Henriksen said.
The state also requires tamper resistant prescription paper and has a database that tracks prescriptions by driver's license number.