In an Atlantic County drug store, a pharmacist noticed something strange. Every time a particular customer came in, he would hand the pharmacists a prescription with a slightly different name on it. Even the birthdates on this customer’s prescriptions were different on each visit, but why? The pharmacist got suspicious, and what he did next helped destroy a drug ring feeding on New Jersey’s growing opioid crisis.
How to Destroy a Prescription Opioid Drug Ring
So why was this man’s name and date of birth shifting on every prescription he filled? The pharmacist figured out that the man was trying to trick the Prescription Monitoring Program. This computer tool usually helps detect overprescription, and notifies the authorities. But the shifting personal data on these prescriptions were fooling the system, so the pharmacist decided to notify the authorities.
Soon, an investigation was started and authorities discovered nearly 20 individuals in Atlantic County who were allegedly suspected of selling and taking prescription opioids. The investigation also uncovered that these drugs came from pharmacies that filled prescriptions from a Belleville, New Jersey physician.
According to the New Jersey Attorney General, the suspects would drive 100 miles north on the Garden State Parkway to see a doctor who would prescribe them oxycodone and alprazolam—also known as Xanax. The AG said the suspects would then return to Atlantic County to fill the prescriptions, and sell the pills for an alleged $25 per pill. Authorities suspect that the doctor wrote 413 prescriptions for 30 unique names in Atlantic County, which comes out to an astonishing 50,000 pills.
On July 19th, authorities announced that they arrested the doctor and 16 other individuals suspected of participating in this drug ring. This strikes another blow against those who would try to profit from New Jersey’s opioid epidemic, but that’s only one battle in the war to free our state of opioid addiction.
The New Jersey pharmaceutical litigation lawyers at Keefe Law Firm continue to monitor this crisis.