October 26, 2021

Rx Bust In New York

prescription drugs

Prescription medications have become quite the business for patients and drug dealers alike as many are cheating the system to make extra money

There is quite a lucrative business going in the prescription pain medication world these days and it looks like Medicaid is the one footing the bill.

Ethel Johnson needed her pain pill prescription filled immediately, but they couldn’t fill it fast enough for her. She claimed she was hurting, but that was not the reason for the rush on the prescription. She wanted the pills so that she could immediately turn around and sell them to a drug dealer.

Since Johnson is on Medicaid, they will pay for the office visit and for the prescription, making it quite a profit for Johnson. On average the 90-count bottle of pills would cost her or Medicaid about $80. She would sell them to a dealer for $1,000 who would then in turn sell them on the street for about $7200.

Johnson is not alone in this endeavor.  She is one of 33 charged in this large scale investigation in New York. As a matter of fact it has become such a huge market that they began to investigate it the same way they would street drugs like crack and heroin, which included wiretaps and surveillance.

Charles Tomaszewski, former supervisor of the DEA office said he had no idea how big it had become.

In an effort to slow down the abuse of the drug, states like Alaska, Florida, Maine, Ohio, South Carolina and West Virginia, have implemented a required state approval before OxyContin prescriptions are filled.

At the New York Office of Medicaid, the Inspector General has implemented a one doctor, one pharmacy policy. This stops people from going to several doctors getting multiple prescriptions. Currently there are about 10,000 people in New York that are on restricted status.