Articles Tagged with opioid addiction

opioid crisisNew Tactics By The Justice Department Mean More Doctors May be Prosecuted

A new group of federal law enforcement nabbed their first indictment of a doctor in the fight against the opioid crisis. Valley News reports, the nationwide effort of law enforcement officials gives them all new access to prescription drug databases, Medicaid and Medicare figures, coroners’ records, and other numbers compiled by the Justice Department.

The Opioid Fraud and Abuse Detection Unit is a combination of law enforcement officials in 12 regions across the country. All united by the goal of stopping fraudulent doctors faster than before. The new organization of data means they have access to which doctors are prescribing the most, how far patients will travel to see them, and whether any of those patients have died within 60 days of receiving one of their prescriptions.

opioid fraudOn November 29, 2017 Charles J. Gartland, D.O., age 59 of Cochranville, PA was indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of opioid diversion and health care fraud.

United States Attorney David J. Freed said the charges of the indictment were handed down based on the belief that Gartland headed up a plan to defraud two health care benefit programs, Wellspan Health of York, PA and Medicare, by writing 221 prescriptions written in the names of three of his family members between the dates of September 2014 and August 2017.  The prescriptions were for the opiates Hydrocodone, Oxycodone, Fentanyl, Morphine and other controlled substances. The majority of the prescriptions were written for Hydrocodone-Ibuprofen.

The indictment notes that the prescriptions were not written for treatment of the family members but rather for the personal use of Dr. Gartland. Because of this, the prescriptions were not written in the realm of professional medical practice and were not used for a medical reason.

addictionMost people are aware that there is a serious Opioid crisis in America. But how many people know that the company who makes OxyContin, the highly addictive painkiller, is owned by a single family who has reaped billions of dollars of profits?

To say that the Sackler family has an impressive roster of monuments to their wealth would be an understatement. The Sackler family has had entire museums, wings, labs, stairways, and courtyards erected in their name.

From buildings and monuments to philanthropy, the Sackler name is everywhere, but the family itself is hardly ever seen.  In 2015 Forbes magazine added the family to the list of America’s richest families.  The billionaire family is descended from Mortimer and Raymond Sackler, two psychiatrist brothers from Brooklyn. Consisting of about 20 members, Forbes cited their wealth at a low-ball of 14 billion dollars. The family never comments publicly on the source of all that wealth – and that’s not a surprise. Most of their wealth came from sales of the narcotic painkiller, OxyContin. Since 1966 when the drug began being sold by the American branch of the Sackler’s pharmaceutical empire, Purdue Pharma, more than 200,000 people have died from overdoses on OxyContin and other painkillers.

The DOJ’s Opioid Fraud Unit is Seeing Movement in The Courts

opioid fraudThe Department of Justice’s newly formed Opioid Fraud Unit is seeing a bit of movement in the court’s system.  According to the blog White-Collared from Lexology, the Opioid Fraud Unit got its first indictment of what it considers an opioid dealer in the form a Pennsylvania physician.

The Indictment


Three Tennessee prosecutors have filed a lawsuit accusing several drug manufacturers of deceptive marketing which they say resulted in an epidemic of addiction to painkillers. The lawsuit is also being taken by the guardian of a baby which was born dependent on opioid drugs.

According to the suit, Baby Doe spent his first days in the neonatal intensive care unit in agony as he went through detoxification. The infant boy, who is not identified, was born to an addicted mother survived after spending 14 days in a neonatal intensive care unit. The child continues to suffer from numerous health and learning disabilities.

The lawsuit was filed by three district attorneys who represent parts of the east Tennessee mountains in Appalachia. This has been the center of the prescription drug epidemic in Tennessee.