Sessions creates opioid-fraud forces
Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced Wednesday the formation of an opioid fraud and abuse unit the Justice Department will use to target doctors and pharmacies that are contributing to the opioid crisis through fraudulent or excessive prescriptions.
Twelve federal prosecutors in jurisdictions hit by the opioid epidemic will be detailed for three years to focus exclusively on bringing health-care fraud cases related to prescription opioids, “including pill mill schemes and pharmacies that unlawfully divert or dispense prescription opioids for illegitimate purposes,” according to a Justice Department announcement issued Wednesday.
Mr. Sessions announced the formation of the unit as he spoke at a graduation ceremony for the Columbus Police Academy in Ohio, noting that southern Ohio would be one of the 12 areas targeted by the new initiative.
Part of the new unit’s job will also be to collect data on opioid abuse and prescriptions, so that officials can sooner identify which doctors prescribe opioids at excessive rates, Mr. Sessions said.