Some 60 doctors, pharmacists and other licensed medical professionals in five states are being charged in connection with illegally prescribing more than 32 million pain pills, in some cases for sexual favors, federal prosecutors said Wednesday.
The people charged across 11 federal districts, include 31 doctors, seven pharmacists, eight nurse practitioners, and seven other licensed medical professionals, the Justice Department said. The cases involve more than 350,000 prescriptions for controlled substances across Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, and West Virginia. The arrests were the latest effort to combat the nationwide opioid epidemic.
"The opioid epidemic is the deadliest drug crisis in American history, and Appalachia has suffered the consequences more than perhaps any other region," U.S. Attorney General William Barr said in a statement. "But the Department of Justice is doing its part to help end this crisis."