Sessions Says Feds Will Target Doctors And Pharmacists In Fighting Opioid Epidemic

Aug 3, 2017

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions talks about the opioid epidemic at The Columbus Police Academy
Credit Getty Images

Democrats are criticizing a plan announced by U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions to send 12 federal prosecutors to cities dealing with opioid addiction.

In a speech Wednesday in Columbus, Sessions said the prosecutors will focus exclusively on investigating health care fraud and opioid scams. Sessions says the Opioid Fraud and Abuse Detection Unit will target doctors and pharmacists who illegally prescribe and dispense opioids for profit.

Democratic National Committee spokesperson Mandy McClure says evidence shows more treatment and public health options are needed. McClure also says budget proposals by President Trump and congressional Republicans would make the epidemic worse by proposed cuts in Medicaid spending. Sessions says treatment alone is not enough. 25 protestors from the People's Justice Project held a demonstration outside of the Columbus Police training academy where Sessions made his speech. Protestors said treatment over jail time is a better way to deal with the crisis.