AG Sessions launches Opioid Fraud and Abuse Detection Unit with north Alabama as a focus

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – The United States Department of Justice announced on Tuesday that it will launch a new pilot program to ” utilize data to help combat the devastating opioid crisis that is ravaging families and communities across America.” The Northern District of Alabama will be one of twelve areas of focus.

According to a release from the Department of Justice, “the new Opioid Fraud and Abuse Detection Unit will focus specifically on opioid-related health care fraud using data to identify and prosecute individuals that are contributing to this prescription opioid epidemic.”

In a speech announcing the program, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said, “I have created this unit to focus specifically on opioid-related health care fraud using data to identify and prosecute individuals that are contributing to this opioid epidemic.”

He explained, “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.”

Sessions said, “With this data in hand, I am also assigning 12 experienced prosecutors to focus solely on investigating and prosecuting opioid-related health care fraud cases in a dozen locations around the country where we know enforcement will make a difference in turning the tide on this epidemic.”

He added the prosecutors will “target and prosecute these doctors, pharmacies, and medical providers who are furthering this epidemic to line their pockets.”

Participants in the program include:

  1. Middle District of Florida,
  2. Eastern District of Michigan,
  3. Northern District of Alabama,
  4. Eastern District of Tennessee,
  5. District of Nevada,
  6. Eastern District of Kentucky,
  7. District of Maryland,
  8. Western District of Pennsylvania,
  9. Southern District of Ohio,
  10. Eastern District of California,
  11. Middle District of North Carolina, and
  12. Southern District of West Virginia.

 

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