Numerous arrests of government officials were made in Miami recently for allegedly obtaining the painkiller OxyContin from pharmacies with fraudulent prescriptions, according to an article on CNN.com. In addition to the Florida government officials, a doctor who was providing the unnecessary OxyContin prescriptions was also arrested. According to the article, about $400,000 worth of OxyContin pills were fraudulently obtained. The suspects are accused of using their health insurance information to obtain unnecessary OxyContin prescriptions from pharmacies with the help of a doctor who was involved in the scam and then selling the pills to people on the street. The article also indicates that some of the suspects sought reimbursement for the drugs from their insurance companies, which may have raised a red flag with the insurance companies and created a paper trail to help track down the suspects.
The abuse of prescription medications such as OxyContin, Vicodin, Percocet, Xanax and others has increased significantly over the last several years. With the increase in Internet pharmacies, many of which do not require a legitimate doctor’s prescription before they will sell prescription drugs, access to these drugs is much easier than ever before. Apparently, according to this article, illegally obtaining prescription drugs the more traditional way, i.e. by going to a pharmacy with fake or unnecessary prescriptions, is still occurring as well.