Under various federal and state laws, it is illegal for people to sell prescription drugs if they do not have a valid license to write prescriptions. It is also illegal to distribute or give other persons prescription drugs without such a license.

According to the same laws, a “sale” does not necessarily involve only monetary compensation for prescription drugs. It can also involve the exchange of something of value, such as a gift or services.

It is also illegal for licensed persons to knowingly sell or distribute prescription drugs to a person if they do not have a valid prescription or legitimate need for that particular drug. Prescribing more drugs than are needed, or abusing/replicating prescription forms is also illegal.

What Are Some Prescription Drugs that Are Commonly Sold Illegally?

Certain types of prescription drugs are more commonly subject to illegal sales than others. By far, prescription pain-killers and pain medications are sold illegally more than other types of drugs. These are often sold to persons who have become addicted to them.

Illegal prescription drug sales have also contributed to an explosion of heroin use. Once a person’s prescription runs out, they may switch to heroin or illegally-sold prescription drugs that contain opiates. Thus, illegal sales of prescription drugs typically involve drugs such as:

Nowadays, many illegal prescription drug sales occur online rather than in person.

Are There any Criminal Penalties for Illegally Selling Prescription Drugs?

Illegal sales of prescription drugs are among the most serious types of prescription drug crimes. Sales of such drugs generally lead to more serious than other types of prescription drug crimes such as possession or use of such drugs. Illegal sales can typically result in felony charges, which are punishable by criminal consequences such as 1-5 years in prison and/or criminal fines.

Professionals such as doctors or pharmacists may face additional consequences, such as a loss of practicing license or a loss of certification. Sales that also involve the illegal manufacturing of prescription drugs may also involve much more serious penalties.

Do I Need a Lawyer to Help Me Defend Against Illegal Prescription Drug Sales Charges?

Illegally selling prescription drugs is a major crime and can result in strict legal penalties. You may need to hire a drug lawyer in your area if you are facing charges or other legal issues involving the sale of prescription drugs. Your attorney can advise you of your rights and can also research laws as needed. Also, your lawyer can be on hand to represent and guide you during key court processes and procedures.