Scores of doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and other medical professionals have been charged with scheming to distribute more than 32 million addictive pain pills. The Justice Department on Wednesday described the indictments as the “largest prescription opioid enforcement effort ever undertaken.” The scheme involved 350,000 illegal prescriptions written in Kentucky, Alabama, Ohio, Tennessee, and West Virginia, among the states hardest hit by the opioid epidemic. The number of pills peddled by those charged on 17 April constitutes the equivalent of one dose of opioids for “every man, woman and child” across the five states, said Brian Benczkowski, head of the department’s criminal division. The indictments accuses the health professionals of knowingly providing addictive drugs to vulnerable patients, accepting cash payments, signing blank prescription forms to be completed by their staff, and billing Medicare and Medicaid for unnecessary tests and procedures, reports the Wall Street Journal
(17 April, Gurman, Randazzo).
From "Medical Professionals Charged in Opioids Sting"
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