New Laws and Funding Will Fight Prescription Abuse

Pharmacy Times, Volume 0, 0

The fight against sweeping prescriptiondrug crimes received a big enhancementrecently from new prescriptiontrackinglegislation and pharmaceuticaldiversion investigative squads in southwesternOhio and northern Kentucky.Law enforcement officials believe thatthe developments are crucial to stemmingthe expanding illegal trade in andabuse of prescription drugs.

For example, in northern Kentucky,attempts to increase the ranks of thoseinvestigating pharmaceutical diversioncrimes have taken shape with thecreation of the area's only PharmaceuticalDiversion Unit in the BooneCounty Sheriff's Department. At thesame time, the US Office of NationalDrug Control Policy gave federal fundingfor a specialized squad in Ohio,where 3 counties have been designateda High Intensity Drug TraffickingArea (HIDTA).

Under the new designation, a largeportion of annual federal funding willgo to battle prescription drug crime inthe southwest Ohio HIDTA PharmaceuticalDiversion Initiative. The initiative'scoordinator, Cmdr JohnBurke, director of the Warren Countydrug task force, said that it unites officersfrom 4 agencies to investigate andprosecute individuals who break thelaw. The new units, along with theanticipated signing of the Ohio prescription-trafficking law similar toKentucky's law, are expected to makemajor gains against a crime thatexperts believe happens everywhere.