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Can you legally pick up a prescription for a friend?

On Behalf of | Aug 20, 2021 | Criminal Defense

Imagine being stopped by the police with a bottle of pills on your passenger seat. The officer asks who they’re for, and you say they’re for a friend. They check the bottle, and it’s not in your name despite being a controlled substance.

Can they arrest you? Will you be in trouble for picking up drugs for your friend? Here is what you should know.

You are legally allowed to pick up drugs for friends or family members

It is completely legal to pick up drugs from a pharmacy for your friend or family member. According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, a pharmacist is allowed to use their own judgment to determine if it’s in the patient’s best interests for the drug to be picked up by another party.

To pick up a prescription for a friend or family member, you need to provide some basic information to the pharmacist including the patient’s name and birth date.

Does your friend or family member have to contact the pharmacy in advance?

No. There is no rule that your family member or friend has to let the pharmacy know that you’ll be picking up their prescription.

How can you avoid trouble during a traffic stop if you are in possession of another person’s prescription?

If you want to avoid problems for being in possession of your friend’s prescription, there are a few things you should do.

First, don’t take the medication out of the package given to you by the pharmacy. You likely have a bag with a receipt, so keep those with the prescription.

Next, remember to leave the prescription inside its prescription bottle or box. If you throw this information away and no identifying information is present, you’ll be more likely to face trouble with the law.

Finally, consider putting the prescription out of sight when you drive. You might put it in your passenger’s glove box or in the trunk. While this might be an unnecessary step, it will help you avoid questions if you’re stopped for speeding or another traffic offense.

These are a few things to know about picking up a prescription medication for a friend or family member. It is legal, so you should not face allegations of drug crimes for doing this good deed.