DOJ's Appalachian Opioids Task Force Expanded to Tenth District

Attorney General William Barr and U.S. Attorney Thomas T. Cullen announced the Appalachian Regional Prescription Opioid Strike Force will expand into the Western District of Virginia, making it the tenth ARPO Strike Force district.

The Appalachian Regional Prescription Opioid Strike Force, an initiative of the U.S. Justice Department's Criminal Division, went to work in December 2018. DOJ officials including Attorney General William Barr announced April 17 enforcement actions that involve 60 charged defendants across 11 federal districts, including 31 doctors, seven pharmacists, eight nurse practitioners, and seven other licensed medical professionals, for allegedly participating in the illegal prescribing and distribution of opioids and other dangerous narcotics and for health care fraud schemes. HHS also announced that, since June 2018, it has excluded more than 2,000 individuals from participation in Medicare, Medicaid, and all other federal health care programs, including more than 650 providers excluded for conduct related to opioid diversion and abuse.

The charges involve more than 350,000 prescriptions for controlled substances and more than 32 million pills, according to DOJ's announcement.

Barr and U.S. Attorney Thomas T. Cullen announced that the strike force will expand into the Western District of Virginia, making it the tenth ARPO Strike Force district. Cullen is the U.S. attorney for the Western District of Virginia.

"The opioid epidemic is the deadliest drug crisis in American history, and Appalachia has suffered the consequences more than perhaps any other region," Barr said. "But the Department of Justice is doing its part to help end this crisis. One of the department's most promising new initiatives is the Criminal Division's Appalachian Regional Prescription Opioid Strike Force, which began its work in December. Just four months later, this team of federal agents and 14 prosecutors has charged 60 defendants for alleged crimes related to millions of prescription opioids. I am grateful to the Criminal Division, their U.S. attorney partners, and to the members of the strike force for this outstanding work that holds the promise of saving many lives in Appalachian communities."

"Reducing the illicit supply of opioids is a crucial element of President Trump's plan to end this public health crisis," said HHS Secretary Alex Azar. "It is also vital that Americans struggling with addiction have access to treatment and that patients who need pain treatment do not see their care disrupted, which is why federal and local public health authorities have coordinated to ensure these needs are met in the wake of this enforcement operation."

Citing CDC, the announcement said about 130 Americans are dying per day from an opioid overdose.

"Today's takedown demonstrates the FBI's unwavering commitment to working alongside our Strike Force partners, including the HHS-OIG and DEA, to fight the opioid epidemic and related criminal activity in the Appalachian region," said Executive Assistant Director Amy Hess of the FBI's Criminal, Cyber, Response, and Services Branch. "We will not stand by and allow the harmful and oftentimes deadly practice of over-prescribing highly addictive drugs to continue unchecked. The FBI will pursue medical personnel who misuse their positions of trust to blatantly disregard others’ very lives for their own financial gain."

Download Center

HTML - No Current Item Deck
  • Safety Management Software - Free Demo

    IndustrySafe Safety Software’s comprehensive suite of modules help organizations to record and manage incidents, inspections, hazards, behavior based safety observations, and much more. Improve safety with an easy to use tool for tracking, notifying and reporting on key safety data.

  • Create Flexible Safety Dashboards

    IndustrySafe’s Dashboard Module allows organizations allows you to easily create and view safety KPIs to help you make informed business decisions. Our best of breed default indicators can also save you valuable time and effort in monitoring safety metrics.

  • Schedule and Record Observations

    IndustrySafe's Observations module allows managers, supervisors, and employees to conduct observations on employees involved in safety critical behavior. IndustrySafe’s pre-built BBS checklists may be used as is, or can be customized to better suit the needs of your organization.

  • Why Is Near Miss Reporting Important?

    A near miss is an accident that's waiting to happen. Learn how to investigate these close calls and prevent more serious incidents from occurring in the future.

  • Get the Ultimate Guide to Safety Training

    When it comes to safety training, no matter the industry, there are always questions regarding requirements and certifications. We’ve put together a guide on key safety training topics, requirements for certifications, and answers to common FAQs.

  • Industry Safe
comments powered by Disqus

OH&S Digital Edition

  • OHS Magazine Digital Edition - May 2019

    May 2019

    Featuring:

    • RESPIRATORY PROTECTION
      Why Pick a PAPR? 
    • FIRE SAFETY TRAINING
      Fire Safety: Plan, Prevent, Train, Recover
    • PROTECTIVE APPAREL
      The Truth About Heat Stress and FRC
    • AIHCE EXP 2019 PREVIEW
      Underestimated No More
    View This Issue