Physicians, nurses and pharmacists among 19 indicted in multimillion-dollar opioid distribution ring

Nineteen people from the Detroit area, the majority of whom are medical professionals, were federally charged June 11 in a 44-count indictment alleging an illegal opioid distribution ring.

The indictment alleges clinic owner John Henry Rankin gave money and illegal benefits to physicians and nurse practitioners who wrote faulty prescriptions for oxycodone, hydrocodone, promethazine with codeine cough syrup and other highly addictive drugs. The court document also accuses Mr. Rankin of recruiting patients into the conspiracy and paying an unlicensed medical worker to issue fraudulent prescriptions while posing as a physician.

The court has accused the distributors of prescribing nearly 2 million illegal doses of Schedule II controlled substances, with the oxycodone and oxymorphone alone holding a conservative street price of more than $41 million.

Charges in the indictment also accuse local pharmacy owners of billing insurers for false prescriptions and accepting monetary bribes from opioid recruiters. The court alleges that these pharmacists distributed more than 58,725 illegal dosages of Schedule II controlled substances.

More articles on opioids:
Pharmacy chains helped fuel opioid crisis, complaint alleges
States with legalized medical cannabis prescribe 20% less opioids, study finds
West Virginia sues Walgreens, Rite Aid, claims they flooded state with opioids

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