Texas residents may be happy to know that the U.S. has made significant strides in the battle against the prescription-drug epidemic. This is according to the nation's leading drug experts, who gathered at the National Rx Drug Abuse Summit in Florida on April 2 to discuss a wide range of topics, including prescription drug charges for offenders. Several federal government drug agencies spoke at the conference and related both the progress and the battles that have yet to be won. They observed that the number of people abusing prescription drugs is declining as statistics report drops to 6.1 million abusers of prescription drugs in 2011, down from 7 million abusers in 2010. Young people between the ages of 18 and 25 have also decreased prescription drug use. On the other hand, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that more than 125,000 people have died nationally because of an opioid-related drug overdose in the past 10 years.
On March 11, the attorneys general for 46 states, plus Guam and Puerto Rico, sent a letter to the United States Federal Drug Administration asking that the government develop standards for drug manufacturers to develop pain medication that is difficult to tamper with and resistant to drug abuse. The letter noted that manufacturers of some brand-name drugs have already implemented procedures to help avoid abuse. For example, some manufacturers have made their drugs more difficult to crush, which reduces abuse from those wishing to snort the drugs. Citizen groups have previously filed similar petitions. The restrictions would not prevent people from illegally obtaining prescriptions or using forged prescriptions. However, if drugs are more difficult to abuse, there is less incentive to try to obtain them. In addition, if only name-brand drugs are tamper proof, that simply encourages people with a drug problem to seek out the cheaper, generic drugs.
A Houston medical professional accused of running unlicensed pain management clinics is requesting the return of more than $92,000 in money that was seized from his bank account. The doctor does not yet face prescription drug charges even though federal agents investigated four of his clinics. The man insists that he had never committed a crime and wants his money back. In a court document, he called the seizure fraudulent and denies that he obtained the funds illegally. Officials investigated his sales of prescription drugs, which included muscle relaxers, an anti-anxiety drug and painkillers. The bank produced records of the doctor's accounts, and clinic records indicated numerous cash payments for frequent amounts of $100 or $120. Officials estimate the doctor had in excess of 6,000 payments and claim he earned about $720,000 from operating the pain management clinics across the city.
An unspecified number of Texas residents were among 48 people charged in a Medicaid fraud case involving prescription drugs that spread across several states.
States are attempting to crack down on people trying to illegally obtain prescription medicine. They are deploying new methods to track people trying to fill a forged prescription or stealing medication.
A Dallas woman is suing a drug store chain for false arrest and defamation after a suspicious pharmacy worker reported her to police, leading to charges of fraudulently fulfilling a prescription, charges that police had to retract.
As expected, a Texas prosecutor wants to revoke the probation of a troubled former professional football player now that police say he has been found in possession of drugs without a prescription. Police in another state said the man broke into homes to steal the prescription painkillers.
An ex-emergency room doctor told a U.S. District Court that he will plead guilty to charges of conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance.
Last weekend, families across America celebrated Easter, one of the few candy-filled holidays of the year. In celebratory spirits, most Texas children would expect the Easter Bunny to carry eggs or candy. However, in recent news, an Easter Bunny was arrested this week after police found that he was carrying around a lot more than delicious chocolate bunnies.
A former professional football player could wind up in prison after allegedly violating his probation on charges in Texas related to fraudulently fulfilling a prescription.