Feds charge multiple doctors for overprescribing opioids

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) – Federal prosecutors say they’ve charged multiple medical professionals for overprescribing millions of opioids across Appalachia.

Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski on Tuesday announced charges against 13 people in West Virginia, Ohio and Tennessee. Eleven of those charged are doctors.

Benczkowski says the charges involve more than 17 million illegally prescribed opioid pills. Authorities used data that detailed prescriptions, insurance information and other factors to determine the overprescribing.

In one example, officials said a doctor in a West Virginia city of 10,000 people prescribed nearly 2 million pills.

The action comes after charges were filed against 60 people in April for the illegal distribution of opioids.

The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says about 115 Americans die every day from opioid-related overdoses.

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