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Yahoo NewsApr 18, 2019
Opioid crisis: US doctors accused of trading prescriptions for sex and cash in major scandal
Scores of medical professionals across seven states were charged by federal prosecutors on Wednesday with schemes to illegally distribute millions of pain pills — in some cases exchanging opioid prescriptions for sex, in others for cash with an added "concierge fee", and in one case routinely prescribing opioids to friends on Facebook.Officials called the case the "single largest prescription opioid law enforcement operation in history".The indictments, unsealed in federal court in Cincinnati on Wednesday, accuse 60 people, including 31 doctors, seven pharmacists and eight nurses of involvement in the schemes, which included opioid prescriptions issued for gratuitous medical procedures like unnecessary tooth-pulling.In some cases doctors simply handed out signed blank prescription forms."These cases involve approximately 350,000 opioid prescriptions and more than 32 million pills — the equivalent of a dose of opioids for every man, woman and child across the states of Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama and West Virginia combined," Brian Benczkowski, an assistant attorney general in charge of the Justice Department's criminal division, said at a news conference.Most of the charges were filed against people in those five states; one person was charged in Pennsylvania and one in Louisiana.Nationally, more than 70,000 deaths in 2017 were attributed to drug overdoses, with about one-quarter of them caused by prescription opioids.States wholly or partly in A
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