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Have you been charged with intent to distribute drugs?

The state of South Carolina is cracking down on offenses related to the possession and distribution of prescription drugs. There is now a prescription monitoring program designed to stop the illegal diversion of drugs from both community and hospital outpatient pharmacies. Did the SCRIPTS program lead authorities to you?

The SCRIPTS program

The South Carolina Prescription Monitoring Program became law in 2014. The purpose of SCRIPTS, as it is called, is to identify efforts to distribute prescription drugs illegally. The program is not meant to impede the relationship of a patient with his or her doctor or pharmacist, but rather to curtail the illegal sale of pills like Vicodin®, Percocet® and Xanax®.

Registration

The Bureau of Drug Control, as part of the Department of Health and Environmental Control, requires any person or entity who is engaged in an activity involving controlled substances to obtain annual registration from DHEC.

Performing inspections

The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control receives anywhere from 750 to 1,000 complaints annually about the illegal distribution of prescription drugs from legal outlets such as pharmacies. The department oversees random inspections that are designed to ensure that the pharmacy is keeping records properly and storing controlled substances in a secure manner. If there are violations, both sanctions and monetary fines could follow. About half of the people who are targets of complaints end up in state or federal court. DHEC data indicates that about 25 percent of those who are prosecuted for such crimes are employed in the healthcare industry.

The best outcome

The goal of the prosecution is to prove that you intended to provide prescription drugs to someone illegally. The job of a criminal defense attorney is to prove that such a charge is false; launching a full investigation into the matter is the way to start. As a pharmacist with years of experience in your profession, you must have a clean record, and that means fighting for your rights and working toward the best possible outcome for your case.

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