Indictment: Doctors, other providers traded prescriptions for sex, cash

UPI | 4/17/2019 | Staff
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April 17 (UPI) -- In one of the largest federal crackdowns on opioids yet, prosecutors said in an indictment Wednesday investigators uncovered a vast illegal prescription scheme in which physicians traded painkillers for sex and money.

The federal indictment involves 350,000 illegal prescriptions in Kentucky, Ohio, Tennessee, Alabama and West Virginia.

Equivalent - Opioid - Dose - Man - Woman

"That is the equivalent of one opioid dose for every man, woman and child in the five states in the region that we've been targeting," Brian Benczkowski, assistant attorney general for the Justice Department, told The Washington Post. "If these medical professionals behave like drug dealers, you can rest assured that the Justice Department is going to treat them like drug dealers."

Thirty-one doctors, seven pharmacists, eight nurse practitioners and seven other licensed medical professionals are named in the indictment. At least one physician is charged with a death in connection to the scheme.

Investigators - Informants - Agents - Devices - Exchanges

Investigators used confidential informants and undercover agents with recording devices to document the exchanges, prosecutors said. The work was done by the Criminal Division's Appalachian Regional Prescription Opioid Strike Force, which launched in December.

Prosecutors said in some cases patients consented to have teeth pulled...
(Excerpt) Read more at: UPI
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