News Article

Sessions wants ‘war’ on prescriptions, but Ohio’s done that for years

Thursday, August 3, 2017

by Columbus Dispatch

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions was in Columbus on Wednesday to announce a new effort to crack down on doctors, pharmacists and others who are profiting by improperly prescribing and selling opioids.

But the initiative was greeted with some skepticism in the Buckeye State, where efforts to clamp down on prescription opioids go back about a decade. Also, experts said, much of the problem has moved past prescription drugs into illicit substances such as heroin and fentanyl that would not be directly affected by Sessions’ initiative.

The nation’s top cop announced the creation of a data-analytics effort called the Opioid Fraud Abuse Detection Unit, which is aimed at finding pill mills and other rogue prescribers and sellers. He also said he would dedicate 12 federal prosecutors — including one each in Ohio, West Virginia and Kentucky — to go after them.