CR medical assistant charged with writing fake prescriptions - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

CR medical assistant charged with writing fake prescriptions

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CEDAR RAPIDS (KWWL) -

A medical assistant at a Cedar Rapids cardiology clinic faces several charges after police say she was writing fake prescriptions.

Pamela Diane Taylor, 31, was arrested on Sunday after police say she went to the Hy-Vee at 4035 Mt. Vernon Road SE to pick-up a fraudulent prescription that she submitted on Thursday.

Sgt. Cristy Hamblin, Public Information Officer for the Cedar Rapids Police Department, says officers also found Lortab pills in an eyeglass case.

She is charged with possession of a prescription drug and prohibited acts.

According to Iowa Courts Online, Taylor was arrested in April on charges of prohibited acts and a prescription drug violation from November 2010.

St. Luke's Hospital says Taylor is on medical leave from Cardiologists, L.C. while police investigate.

Tonight on the KWWL News at 5, Molly Nichols looks at the problem of medical professionals stealing prescription medication and what is being done to curb it.

Sgt. Hamblin says the latest case is rare for Cedar Rapids.

In 2010 there were 19 people arrested on 34 charges of Prohibited Acts, or, writing fake prescriptions.

"With the pharmacy boards, they're watching so closely, their personnel. Its very hard for employees to phone in or to write the script. They might get by with it a couple of times but before too long they're going to get caught," said Hamblin

Hamblin says the days of an actual paper prescription pad are numbered.

"When we were growing up we'd have the doctors script pad just laying there on the counter in every single office. At that time, we'd have some of them stolen," said Hamblin.

Desmond Waters is the Pharmacy Director at Mercy Medical Center in Cedar Rapids.

"We have what we call a narcotic vault, its a narcotic surveillance system that tracks every single medication that is a controlled substance," said Waters.

Those advancements in technology help the Cedar Rapids police department respond quickly to any reports of suspicious activity at local pharmacies.

"Its a real-time surveillance so at anytime if there's a discrepancy or there's some suspicious or something of concern to us our Pharmacist is notified and then we investigate; pretty much right on the spot," said Waters.

Sgt. Hamblin hopes this latest arrest brings more awareness to the seriousness of prescription drug abuse.

"In Iowa, the bigger problem we're seeing is prescription drugs stolen out of mom and dad's cabinet or grandma and grandpa's cabinet. We're having a harder time with teenagers stealing prescription drugs," said Hamblin.

In Cedar Rapids, Walgreens, Target and St. Lukes Pharmacies use also video surveillance technology.

The Medicap location declined our request for an interview on this topic.

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