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Almost two months ago Marcella Young picked up her prescription drugs from a Walgreens in Fort Collins, Colorado. Young looked in her bag and noticed her painkillers were missing.

A stranger was able to get her information, most likely after she threw a past prescription bag in the trash, and was able to walk into Walgreens and out with her pills.

Pam Dixon, the executive director of the World Privacy Forum reports an estimated 500,000 Americans being victims of medical identity theft and most aren’t aware of it.

It’s hard to tally the cost, but fraud is estimated to account for as much as ten percent of all health care costs. It’s not known how much of that is from medical identity theft.

Walgreens has released information on how to protect your self from being a victim of medical identity theft:

– Never dispose of your pharmacy bag or drug bottle in a public trash can .
– Don’t unnecessarily let others know what drugs you’re taking.
– Don’t leave prescription medicine in plain sight at home where a visitor can see it.

For more information on this subject, please refer to the section on Drugs, Medical Devices and Implants.

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