US Attorney General Jeff Sessions Holds Opinion in Washington DC on February 28, 2017
The US Department of Justice filed indictments against 601 people on Thursday, including doctors for involvement in healthcare scams that exceeded $ 2 billion announced losses and in some cases contributed to the country's opioid epidemic.
The arrests were made in dozens of disconnected law enforcement cases, which the Department of Justice announced as part of an annual anti-fraud campaign in the health sector.
Hundreds of defendants were indicted, including 162 physicians and other suspects charged with their role in prescribing and distributing addictive opioid analgesics.
Although many of the cases also included a variety of systems to fraudulently bill government health programs, officials at the recent crackdown attempted to emphasize their efforts to combat the opioid epidemic.
According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the epidemic caused more than 42,000 deaths from opioid overdoses in the United States in 2016.
While the Department of Justice conducted investigations into some opioid manufacturers such as OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma Many of the criminal cases announced on Thursday included charges against medical professionals who, according to the authorities, contributed to the country's opioid epidemic by participating in the illegal distribution of prescription painkillers
In Florida, an anesthetist accused of operating a "pill mill", a Pennsylvania doctor allegedly charged an insurer for illegally prescribed opioids; and a Texas pharmacy chain owner and two other people accused of misrepresenting orders for opioids sold to drug couriers.
The Department of Justice announced further cases unrelated to opioids. Medicaid and Tricare as well as private insurers for medically unnecessary prescription drugs and compounded medications.