Finally: DOJ Nabs Over 50 Docs in Opioid Investigations

Nearly 50,000 Americans die from opioid overdoses each year, constituting a legitimate crisis. Though leaders have tried to devise a number of solutions that target drug abusers themselves, the problem seems doomed to persist so long as pharmaceutical companies keep spreading opioids on the black market for major profit.

That’s why it’s great news that the Department of Justice is finally getting more aggressive on medical professionals that blatantly break the law to sell these addictive pills. Per NPR and NBC News, following a few months of investigation, the feds have indicted more than 50 doctors, nurses and pharmacists for issuing illegal prescriptions and distributing controlled substances.

Even with oversight, it can be tricky to determine which doctors are writing prescriptions to legitimately help patients with chronic pain and which are writing prescriptions with the tacit understanding that the drugs will be abused and/or sold.

However, investigators identified several dozen “professionals” whose prescription writing and pill production were so prolific that the illicit behavior couldn’t be more obvious. Some were writing at least 100 prescriptions per day, despite there being no way they could responsibly see that many patients in such a short time frame.

Collectively, the indicted are charged with writing over 350,000 phony prescriptions for 32 million pills. One man in Tennessee who nicknamed himself the Rock Doc would allegedly mix millions of opioid pills with psychoactive drugs and sometimes trade them for sexual favors. Another doctor in Alabama enlisted prostitutes to pretend to be his patients so he could prescribe them opioids, which he also allowed them to use at his private home.

“You can rest assured when medical professionals behave like drugs dealers, the Department of Justice is going to treat them like drug dealers,” said Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division, Brian Benczkowski.

Though it’s premature to say whether the accused will plead guilty or try to beat the charges, it’s certainly welcome news to see action of this nature finally taken. Shutting down the “pill mills” of the worst offenders in the Appalachia may not stop the epidemic altogether, but it will go a long way toward getting a lot of opioids out of circulation.

Just as importantly, it sends a warning to other doctors and pharmacists that the feds are finally cracking down on illegal prescription activity. That should make some in the health industry think twice about helping to spread opioids even if there’s major money in it.

The next step should be to start cracking down on the pharmaceutical companies that are making a product they know is being rampantly abused, but we all know that big pharma uses its massive profits to keep politicians at bay.

31 comments

Chad Anderson
Chad A1 months ago

Thank you.

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Carla G
Past Member 2 months ago

Thank you for posting

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sandy G
sandy G2 months ago

ok

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Clare O
Clare O'Beara2 months ago

ok

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Clare O
Clare O'Beara2 months ago

th

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Ruth S
Ruth S2 months ago

Thanks.

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Ruth S
Ruth S2 months ago

Thanks.

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Sherri S
Sherri S2 months ago

It is a shame that some Doctors, patients and drug companies abuse the system and push and/or get hooked on these drugs. The ones that suffer are the truly sick people that need these drugs to control pain.

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Sherry K
Sherry K2 months ago

Many thanks to you !

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Danuta W
Danuta Watola2 months ago

Thank you for sharing

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