The Economist reports that in 2015 more than 52,000 Americans died of drug overdoses according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That is an average of one death every ten minutes.
Nearly two-thirds of them were from opioids, including prescription painkillers and heroin. The consequences of this abuse have had a devastating affect on addicts and their families.
The website drugabuse.gov reports several factors are likely to have contributed to this cataclysmic problem including increases in the number of prescriptions written, greater social acceptability and aggressive marketing by pharmaceutical companies.
The fourth source of prescription drugs is from what has become known as Pill Mill docs. These abhorrent individuals profit from writing these scripts without any regard to medical necessity. Dr. Hsiu-Ying “Lisa” Tseng sold pills to a patient who died from her office in a strip mall in Los Angeles. Recently, Tseng was sentenced to 30 years to life for the overdose deaths of three patients. John Niedermann, a Los Angeles deputy District Attorney relates the case of one Pill Mill office prescribing more painkillers in one month than the entire staff at Johns Hopkins Hospital. Recently, three Philadelphia doctors were indicted on a variety of charges
In January, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in northern Texas announced the indictment of a doctor and pharmacist, among others, for allegedly running a $5 million pill mill and distributing hundreds of thousands of oxycodone and hydrocodone pills.
Our Note: It is our belief that any doctor convicted of acting in the capacity of a Pill Mill must face the most severe repercussions. The tell-tale signs of a Pill Mill doc: accepts cash only, provides no exams, no medical or x rays are necessary, you are directed to their pharmacy and their may be huge crowds of people waiting to see the doctor.
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