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Tag: prescriptions

Federal Strike Force Busts Dozens of Medical Professionals for Illegal Opioid Prescriptions

FBI Executive Assistant Director Amy Hess is joined by partner agency officials at a press conference in Cincinnati to announce charges against 60 defendants. Photo via FBI.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A team of federal investigators and prosecutors made its largest bust to date against illegal opioid prescribers, including dozens of pharmacists, nurse practitioners, doctors, and other medical professionals.

The Appalachian Regional Prescription Opioid (ARPO) Strike Force, which was formed in October, operates in Cincinnati, Louisville, Pittsburgh, Knoxville, Memphis, and Birmingham to take down illegal opioid prescribers in areas hardest hit by the crisis. On Wednesday, the announced charges against 60 defendants, most of whom are medical professionals.

“Using the strike force model, we have now focused our resources on a region of the country which arguably has suffered the most from egregious prescription opioid diversion schemes,” FBI Executive Assistant Director Amy Hess said at news conference Wednesday in Cincinnati, where the charges were announced.

A news release said the medical professionals were “essentially acting as their patients’ drug dealers.”

“The ARPO strike force is going after doctors who act like drug dealers,” said FBI Criminal Investigative Division Health Care Fraud Unit Chief Steven Blaum. “Our focus is on the doctors because the sheer volume of pills they can prescribe can have a significant impact on their communities in terms of access to illicit opioids. By removing just one bad doctor, we can stop the addiction cycle before it starts.”

Federal Crackdown on Pain Meds Turning Legitimate Patients into Victims

pain medsBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Patients with a legitimate need for pain medication are having a hard time getting their drugs because of a crackdown on opioid addiction, Al Jazeera reports. 

Since the 2013 crackdown began, more pharmacists are refusing to fill valid prescriptions for controlled substances, even to people with a legitimate need.

“But federal drug policy has done the most damage. For the past five years, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has been orchestrating a high-stakes proxy war between physicians and pharmacists, creating tens of thousands of so-called ‘opioid refugees’ in the process,” Al Jazeera wrote.

Among those hardest hit are poor, minority and elderly people who have a legitimate need for pain meds.

Al Jazeera called it the “equivalent of medical redlining.”

DEA Takes 2 Million Pounds of Unused Prescription Drugs Out of Circulation in Two-Year Effort

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

 The DEA’s two year effort to encourage Americans to turn in expired prescription drugs netted 2 million pounds of unused, potentially hazardous medication, the AP reports.

The initiative, called Drug Take-Back Day, took place nationwide and prompted residents to empty their medicine cabinets of unwanted and expired drugs.

The drugs were dropped off at different disposal sites across the country.

The latest take-back gathered half a million pounds of medication, the AP reported.