Nearly 60 Doctors, Other Medical Workers Charged In Federal Opioid Sting

Assistant Attorney General Brian Benczkowski James Alexander Michie

Assistant Attorney General Brian Benczkowski said Wednesday that if doctors or pharmacists behave like drug dealers, the Justice Department would prosecute them accordingly. Jose Luis Magana/AP

Around 60 doctors and other medical workers were accused of federal opioid bites. In this way, federal prosecutors are charging 60 doctors, pharmacists, medical professionals and others in connection with alleged opioid attacks and medical care fraud. Several charges have already been filed, which in fact came less than four months after the Department of Justice sent prosecutors with experience in fraud in the most affected regions of Appalachia.

It is very important to mention that the cases involve more than 350,000 prescriptions for controlled substances and more than 32 million pills. Which is the equivalent of a dose of opioids for “all men, women and children” throughout Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, and West Virginia. This has been pointed out by Assistant Attorney General Brian Benczkowski.

Likewise, Brian Benczkowski who directs the criminal division of the Justice Department has indicated, “You can rest assured, when medical professionals behave like drug traffickers, the Department of Justice will treat them as drug traffickers”.

Strong actions

Justice Department leaders finally approved the dispatch of 14 health care fraud prosecutors to several different federal districts to help build cases. In fact, they started in January, reviewing the data analysis to find the largest outliers.

Subsequently, prosecutors used traditional methods of law enforcement. Including the search warrants, the confidential informants and likewise the surveillance.

Even so, it is still unclear how many of the defendants caught in this round of prosecutions can fight the charges in the courts. However, to prevail, the Justice Department would have to show that the prescriptions were written and completed outside of the course of normal medical practices and that they had no legitimate medical purpose.

For their part, the authorities assured that they are working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Department of Health and Human Services and local public health officials so that patients who arrive at the doors of the offices that have been Closed patients receive information and other options to receive medical treatment.

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Source: Carrie Johnson | npr

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