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2018 National Health Care Fraud Takedown Acts on Opioid Crisis, False Billings, and Fraud Schemes


06.28.18

WASHINGTON, DC – This morning, the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced the latest results of their National Health Care Fraud Takedown. According to the DOJ, it was their largest health care fraud enforcement action in history.

It was reported by the DOJ that they filed charges on 76 doctors and in 84 opioid cases that involved more than 13 million illicit doses of opioids.

The Washington Times reports, “In one case, a physician leveraged safety-net programs to hand out 2.2 million unnecessary doses of opioids like oxycodone and fentanyl, defrauding taxpayers and endangering patients at the same time.”

In remarks at the DOJ this morning, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said, “Some of our most trusted medical professionals look at their patients — vulnerable people suffering from addiction — and they see dollar signs.”

In conjunction with the Trump Administration’s efforts, Energy and Commerce has led the charge as Congress continues its work to combat the opioid crisis. Working on two tracks, the committee has both legislated and investigated.

Most recently, the House passed H.R. 6, the Substance Use-Disorder Prevention that Promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment (SUPPORT) for Patients and Communities Act by an overwhelmingly bipartisan vote of 396-14. It was part of a two-week legislative push where the House advanced dozens of bills, the vast majority of which were included in H.R. 6.

At the same time, the committee has worked on a bipartisan basis to examine alleged pill dumping in West Virginia. The investigation has found alarming amounts of opioids in small communities, like the 20.8 million pain pills found over a 10-year period for two pharmacies located just four blocks away from each other in Williamson, West Virginia (population 3,000 people). DEA’s Acting Administrator Robert Patterson testified before #SubOversight in March 2018, and national and regional drug distributors testified before #SubOversight in May 2018.

To learn more about the Energy and Commerce Committee’s comprehensive efforts to combat the opioid crisis, click HERE.

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