Doctors across 6 states illegally prescribed opioids

Grant Boone
April 19, 2019

The department also said it charged a doctor who was allegedly making out prescriptions for pills "for his own use", and a dentist who allegedly prescribed opioids "that had no legitimate medical purpose" and removed teeth "unnecessarily". Federal regulation enforcement and well-being officers held a press convention in Cincinnati the place they introduced fees ensuing from the Appalachian Regional Prescription Opioid Strike Power takedown operation that started exclusively four months in the past.

"The opiod epidemic is the deadliest drug crisis in American history, and Appalachia has suffered the consequences more than perhaps any other region", said U.S Attorney General William Barr.

One Tennessee doctor alone, who the The Washington Post writes branded himself the "Rock Doc", allegedly prescribed almost 500,000 hydrocodone pills, 300,000 oxycodone pills, 1,500 fentanyl patches, and more than 600,000 benzodiazepines.

The US Justice Department announced charges Wednesday against 60 people, including doctors, nurses and pharmacists alleged to have illegally written hundreds of thousands of prescriptions for opioids that have underpinned the country's addiction crisis.

According to the Justice Department, the suspects wrote some 350,000 prescriptions and distributed 32 million pills.

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According to the release, numerous doctors signed blank prescriptions that their employees then used to illegally prescribe pills to patients, some of whom the department said were addicts.

The arrests were the result of work by the Appalachian Regional Prescription Strike Force, populated by 300 investigators from the five states concerned. The strike force is expanding to include the Western District of West Virginia. "In order to mitigate this crisis, we are working closely with our federal, state, and local partners on targeted and impactful enforcement initiatives, including the prosecution of corrupt health-care providers, drug-trafficking organizations, and those involved in Fentanyl distribution".

The CDC says about 115 Americans die every day of an opioid-related overdose. Opioid overdoses increased 30 percent between July 2016 and September 2017 in 45 states, according to the CDC.

Federal prosecutors have reported the impact of illegal prescriptions has been devastating in rural communities due to the limited options patients have when they try to seek medical help.

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