A Louisiana federal judge has sentenced Dr. Frederick Floyd to 10 years in prison for operating two New Orleans-based “pill mills.” Last September, Floyd pleaded guilty to dispensing millions of dosages of oxycodone, fentanyl and other addictive drugs to patients. The special agent in charge of the DEA’s New Orleans Field Division noted that Floyd’s “disgraceful conduct is part of the massive opioid epidemic faced by the entire nation and the greater New Orleans area today.”
Floyd worked at two cash-only “pain clinics” in New Orleans East. Between January 1, 2015 and August 31, 2016, Floyd dispensed more than 4.8 million dosages of controlled substances, at least half of which he dispensed illegally. Floyd regularly saw between 50 and 70 patients each day; some patients even traveled from out of state to obtain prescriptions.
Both the local DEA and U.S. Attorney’s offices have stated that prosecuting opioid distribution cases is among their top priorities. According to a December 2017 report from the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), more than 63,000 Americans lost their lives to drug overdoses in 2016. Sixty-six percent of these deaths involved opioids.
Around the same time that the NCHS released its report, McKesson Corp., the nation’s largest drug company, agreed to pay $150 million to settle allegations that it failed to report suspicious orders involving millions of highly addictive painkillers sent to drugstores. The DEA agents running the case have expressed dismay at the small size of the settlement. As a repeat offender—the company was fined $13.3 million for similar conduct in 2008-the front-line agents had hoped to fine McKesson more than $1 billion and revoke the company’s registrations to distribute controlled substances at some of its 30 drug warehouses.
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