MASS AG getting into “lock-step” with DEA and other AG’s in doc’s WITCH HUNT ?

lockstep

Massachusetts AG targets pill mills

War on pill mills: Maura Healey targets rogue doctors fueling opioid abuse

AG Puts docs, clinics on notice

http://www.bostonherald.com/news_opinion/local_coverage/2015/04/war_on_pill_mills_maura_healey_targets_rogue_doctors_fueling

Newly minted Attorney General Maura Healey is cracking down on doctors and “pill mill” clinics illegally prescribing the addictive narcotics that are fueling the state’s deadly outbreak of opiate overdoses.

Calling it one “prong” of her plan to fight the opioid epidemic, Healey has ordered several of her top lieutenants to cull through Medicaid databases and chase tips of doctors and clinics dishing out powerful painkillers “willy-nilly.”

“I want to make sure we’re working with medical professionals so we get in place safe prescribing practices. And where we identify criminal or truly reckless prescribing practices … we’re going to need to take action out of this office,” Healey told the Herald yesterday.

The stepped-up effort, she said, is “so we can shut down pill mills or go after doctors who are wrongfully putting prescriptions in people’s hands without regard to their health or well-being or the safety of the community.”

Healey’s crackdown comes as state police yesterday reported nearly 220 suspected fatal overdoses in just the first three months of this year — a death toll that doesn’t include Boston, Springfield and Worcester. The state Department of Public Health previously reported 978 overdose deaths related to opioids in Massachusetts in 2013, up from 668 the previous year.

Gov. Charlie Baker has also assembled an opioid task force to address the emergency, with a public meeting planned for today at the State House.

The attorney general’s new push appears to dovetail with the results of a two-part Herald series last summer that found prescriptions for the powerful painkiller oxycodone have spiked by nearly 30 percent over the last three years in the Bay State. The report revealed that oxycodone in 30-milligram tablets — dubbed “Roxy” or “Perc 30s” on the street — has overtaken OxyContin as an abuser’s pill of choice.

Healey is also calling for the state to beef up its Prescription Monitoring Program. But with that, there is a “100 percent” greater emphasis on finding and vetting cases of misbehaving docs, said George Zachos, chief of the AG’s Medicaid fraud unit.

“There is a problem we’re trying to address on a number of different fronts, and this is definitely one of them,” Zachos said.

Criminal cases against doctors have been rare. Healey’s office pointed to only two examples since 2012. Of the 13 cases of prescribers the state’s Drug Control Program flagged and forwarded to various licensing boards between January 2013 and last November, none was referred to law enforcement, according to the state.

Dr. Daniel P. Alford, the director of the Clinical Addiction Research and Education Unit at the Boston University School of Medicine, said he supports Healey in weeding out “rogue clinicians” but warned there’s a gray area.

“I have investigated some cases where a clinician is over-prescribing, but it’s not pure malice,” Alford said. “It’s not as if the clinician is profiting from it. … I worry about the unintended consequences of just making people afraid of being investigated.”

But Healey emphasized that “this is not an attack on doctors.”

“This, for many of us, has hit hard, and it’s also come out of left field,” she said of the opiate crisis. “It’s time to revisit some of the practices and make sure we’re doing everything we can.”

11 Responses

  1. Off topic : Oklahoma inches toward nitrogen hypoxia on a committee voting 100%. This euthanasia is prohibited for many veteranary uses. Utah goes towards the firing squad. Hanging isn’t the standard for these evil providers of poison profiteering? Surely You jest?

  2. […] MASS AG getting into “lock-step” with DEA and other AG’s in doc’s WITCH HUNT ? […]

  3. Another example of discrimination against the disabled that have chronic painful diseases. No excuses for suffering needlessly in the USA. Government needs to know that there is a difference between patients and addicts that will use anything. All should watch Ken Mckin clips on utube about the loss of compassion. There are few advocates for people with pain. Thank you Steve Ariens for being one.

  4. Please find the campaign website for Attorney General Marau Healey here. It contains her twitter and facebook links. be sure to stop by and say hello! http://www.maurahealey.com/

  5. Isn’t this the same state that tried to ban Zohydro before it even hit the market because the governor believed all the false statements being put out about it being so dangerous (it was 10x more potent than oxycodone, etc) and and it’s use was going to lead to a massive OD epidemic???. The courts intervened to overturn the ban.

    • Zohydro was formulated for a long acting analgesic without the deliterious hepatic cytochrome phenotype that many simply cannot tolerate. It is a highly efficacious analog without a need for the more powerful MU agonists. The main gripe was it doesn’t have the amount of abuse deterrent, although some value of not being dissolved and injected.

  6. Great comments! Couldn’t have said it better myself. These media-hog Attny Generals are all the same. It’s all about elevating their status on the back of the less fortunate. so disgusting!

  7. “Burned at the state” Warlocks and Dungeons and Dragons. Go figure.

  8. I had to double check the date on this, yes, it is current. So where has this new Atty. Gen. Maura Healy been all of this time? On another planet?? And this article is filled with contradictions. And perhaps the increase in non-acetaminophin ER meds is due to the reformulation, etc. of the hydrocodones and the general move to get chronic pts. off of the potentially harmful excess acetaminophin? And the statement that “Criminal cases against doctors have been rare. Healey’s office pointed to only two examples since 2012. Of the 13 cases of prescribers the state’s Drug Control Program flagged and forwarded to various licensing boards between January 2013 and last November, none was referred to law enforcement, according to the state.” ??? huh? As Darlene Ogrady-Womack states in her comment here, the pill-mills have been shut down. The checks and balances have been in place for quite some time now. C’mon new, overdue, Atty. Gen. Healy, get on the bus for God’s sake, people are dying because of this continued bullying of the chronically ill and disabled people in our country. Despicable. And where the heck was all of this concern during the time when these vile pill-mills and dirty doctors were running rampant, with neon lights, all over our state? Why did the powers that be allow this to get so out of hand? And now they want to lay blame on the good doctors and the legitimate patients who fight every minute of their lives for some kind of comfort and quality of life. We patients have bent over backwards to comply and so have our Good doctors. This problem has already been identified; catch up on your research there, Atty. Gen. Healy. Please. 🙁

  9. Their going to create same situation as florida…pts will be unable to get pain meds. Shouldn’t the blame be put where the problem REALLY starts…the doctors that prescribe them without regard to pts truly needing them. Afterall drs should know.what their patients conditions call for. They have MRIs xrays, patients med history to refer to. Granted a few scammers will slip by unsuspecting drs but nothing compared to the bus loads of people that came to FL SPECIFICALLY to get rxs for narcotics and went back to home states and sold them. That’s where the whole lousy situation began. And drs most deffintely KNEW that but wrote scripts anyway for PROFITS. That’s truly where the problem lies and the blame lies…in the drs hands. They’ve created this mess and its surprising (?) That I see no mention on placing blame on drs in anything I’ve read. Yes they shut down pill mills in FL and that’s where it should have ended.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: