FBI, This Week: Convictions Increase Against Pill Mill Operators
August 1, 2019
The FBI’s efforts to address the opioid epidemic are resulting in a dramatic increase in the convictions of medical professionals and pharmacies who are contributing to prescription opioid overdose deaths and addiction among their patients.
Mollie Halpern: The FBI’s efforts to address the opioid epidemic are resulting in a dramatic increase in the convictions of medical professionals and pharmacies who are contributing to prescription opioid overdose deaths and addiction among their patients.
Health Care Fraud Unit Chief Steven Blaum says he sees investigations involving medical providers who are writing prescriptions in exchange for sex, cash, and favors.
Steven Blaum: We're looking at the most egregious instances of providers who have essentially become drug dealers themselves. They are literally selling prescriptions for oxycodone, OxyContin with no regard to medical necessity or value.
Halpern: Since the inception of the Prescription Drug Initiative in 2016—which includes prescription pill diversion cases—convictions increased from about 20 to an expected 116 this fiscal year.
Blaum says removing these medical providers makes a significant impact in a community.
Blaum: A physician that's determined to go down this path, they are able to put tens, hundreds of thousands, millions of pills into a community, if they go unchecked, because many of these doctor’s offices are what we call “pill mills,” meaning they just manufacture so many prescriptions, the volume becomes monumental—especially in small rural communities.
Halpern: Learn more about the FBI’s multi-faceted approach to combatting the opioid epidemic at fbi.gov. With FBI, This Week, I’m Mollie Halpern of the Bureau.