California Criminal Case Brings Spotlight on Prescription Drug Abuse

The abuse of prescription drugs in America is now at a level that can easily be called epidemic: each month, more than 7 million Americans are using in a non-medical context.

California is also seeing the effects of this startling increase in painkiller abuse; not just through the actions of the addicts, but the criminals who supply them. In this case, two doctors, among others, are at fault, resulting in untold costs to taxpayers.

In October 2011, authorities discovered an illegal operation involving OxyContin and Medicare fraud, which led to the arrest of 10 people, of which two were physicians.

This OxyContin ring, centered in a Westlake medical facility, involved doctors that wrote unnecessary prescriptions out to the names of Medi-Cal and Medicare patients, some of whom were victims of identity theft. The public insurance associations then footed the …

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