The suspicions of a pharmacist on Friday led to the arrest of a 35-year-old Altoona woman on charges of drug fraud before she left the store.
Alex Stoyanoff, pharmacist at Thompson's Pharmacy in Juniata, doubted the legitimacy of a request by Kelly L. Wood, 35, of 308 10th Street, Altoona police said.
Wood told Stoyanoff that she had a prescription for Xanax phoned into Kopp Express Pharmacy on Ninth Avenue but wished to get that prescription filled at Thompson's, Stoyanoff told the Mirror.
Stoyanoff called the other drugstore to confirm that the doctor's office had called in a prescription for Wood, and a pharmacist there told Stoyanoff that she had refused to fill Wood's prescription, Stoyanoff and Altoona Sgt. Brian Freiwald said.
So Stoyanoff said he called the doctor's office, which informed him that it hadn't called in a prescription for Wood.
Wood is in Blair County Prison in lieu of $10,000 bail, according to court records. A preliminary hearing is set for Wednesday.
Pharmacists need to make "judgment calls" on when to double-check on the authenticity of prescriptions, Stoyanoff said.
"Sometimes you can just tell," he said.
It can be a matter of hunches or a matter of common sense, he said.
"I honestly don't enjoy getting people in trouble," he said. "But we're not going to stand by and do whatever [they] want."
All pharmacies have filled phony prescriptions, but pharmacists try to minimize them, he said.
Pharmacies get in trouble with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and the State Board of Pharmacy if they begin to display a problem pattern, he said.
"We're supposed to be very diligent when it comes to that kind of stuff," he said. "You just can't be a robot sitting back here looking at paper."
Mirror Staff Writer William Kibler is at 949-7038.