The crackdown on opioid fraud caught up with sixty individuals, among them, 31 doctors, who will be arraigned in a court of law for illegally prescribing these drugs to get cash and sexual favors in remote areas, stretching from Pennsylvania and West Virginia to Louisiana and Alabama.
The Epidemic is Claiming Hundreds of US lives every 24 hours
“The Opioid catastrophe is the worst drug crisis in the US history, and Appalachia region has suffered its effects more any other region,” said Attorney General William P. Barr in a statement.
According to the CDC (Center for Disease Control), opioid overdoses kill around 130 Americans each day.
The issue has become a national epidemic that these arrests were part of a crackdown by the Appalachian Regional Prescription Opioid Strike Force, a law enforcement task force formed December to scrutinize the opioid prescription fraud that has fueled the drug epidemic claiming hundreds of American lives every 24 hours.
The opioid charges were filed against people in seven states: Tennessee, West Virginia, Louisiana, Ohio, Kentucky, Alabama, Kentucky, and Pennsylvania.
Quacks Bargaining Sex to Offer Opioid Prescriptions
One Tennessee-based quack who referred to himself as the “Rock Doc” faced charges for requesting sexual favors in exchange for opioids and benzodiazepines prescriptions, according to a statement by federal authorities. Another Alabama-based fake doc reportedly recruited prostitutes to stay as patients at his clinic, allowing them to abuse opioids in his home.
Prescribing Without Examination
A group of other doctors faced charges of keeping pre-signed, blank prescriptions for controlled drugs without conducting medical examinations on the patients they sell to.
Other Fraudsters are Manufacturing Pills
Some of the suspects allegedly run “pill mills,” particularly one in Ohio that purportedly sold out over 1.75 million pills between Oct. 2015 and Oct. 2017.
The span in which several doctors were reported to illegally and excessively supply drugs matched with an escalation in opioid overdose cases in America. According to the CDC, Opioid overdoses went up 30 percent between Jul 2016 and Sept 2017 in as many as 45 states.
Hopefully, the law will catch up with more and more quacks risking the lives of Americans for sexual favors and a few dollars.
Author Bio: Electronic payments expert Blair Thomas is the co-founder of high-risk payment processing company eMerchantBroker. He’s just as passionate about helping businesses get a supplement merchant account as he is with traveling and spending time with his dog Cooper.