DOJ Ramps Up Fight Against Opioid Fraud With 12-Atty Unit

04 Août, 2017, 17:22 | Author: Cyril Hebras

On August 2, 2017, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the creation of the Opioid Fraud and Abuse Detection Unit, a Department of Justice pilot program created to combat the opioid-addiction epidemic ravaging parts of the country.

He said the US attorneys - each funded for a three-year term - will focus on the opioid crisis in 12 districts throughout the country. "This sort of data analytics team can tell us important information about prescription opioids - like which physicians are writing opioid prescriptions at a rate that far exceeds their peers; how many of a doctor's patients died within 60 days of an opioid prescription; the average age of the patients receiving these prescriptions; pharmacies that are dispensing disproportionately large amounts of opioids; and regional hot spots for opioid issues". Data will include information about prescription opioid use, such as which physicians' offices are writing prescriptions at a high rate, how numerous physicians' patients died within 60 days of a prescription, the average of patients receiving prescriptions, pharmacies that are dispensing disproportionately large amounts of opioids, and regional hot spots for opioid issues. While speaking at the Columbus Police Academy in Ohio, Attorney General Sessions announced the formation of the unit, stating "To confront a crisis on this scale, we must take a comprehensive approach to the problem".

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In 2015, prescription painkillers and heroin killed more than 33,000 people, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Sessions called the situation was "the worst drug crisis in our history", estimating that prescription opioid addiction was costing the national economy about $78 billion a year.

"In recent years some of the government officials in our country I think have mistakenly sent mixed messages about the harmfulness of drugs", Sessions said.

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