Ses­sions cre­ates opi­oid-fraud forces

The Washington Times Daily - - POLITICS - — Andrea Noble

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.

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