The “largest health care fraud takedown operation in American history” were the words Attorney General Jeff Sessions used to describe a sinister plot to put profits before patients
Over 400 people, ranging from nurses, to doctors, and pharmacists, are being prosecuted in an opioid scam—a new trend in the health industry that preys on addicts’ weaknesses in exchange for a quick buck.
By defrauding Medicare, Medicaid, and some private insurance companies, the scammers sought excess opioid prescriptions for patients—for a total of $1.3 billion.
Sessions described those involved as having “chosen to violate their oaths and put greed ahead of their patients.”
Of the countless healthcare “professionals” charged, one notable case involved a Florida rehab facility that found addicts at strip clubs—or recruited them with gift cards—resulting in over $50 million in fraud.
Out of the 400, over 120 are charged with the illegal distribution and prescribing of painkillers.
And there’s much more to be angry about than monetary fraud—there have been countless deaths due to opioid overdoses in the U.S. over the last few years.
In 2015 alone, 52,000 people died from such overdoses.
“In some cases, we had addicts packed into standing-room-only waiting rooms waiting for these prescriptions.” said Andrew McCabe, current FBI director, “They are a death sentence, plain and simple.”
Placing profits before patients is nothing new in the world of Big Pharma, though it is refreshing to see at least some justice served.
“They seem oblivious to the disastrous consequences of their greed,” added Sessions, “Their actions not only enrich themselves, often at the expense of taxpayers, but also feed addictions and cause addictions to start.”