Doctors and pharmacists are critical partners with law enforcement in the fight against addiction, U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch said Friday.
Speaking at the Massachusetts Medical Society, Lynch said the Justice Department has cracked down on the illegal drug supply chain, disrupted pill mills and cut down on doctor-shopping, the Associated Press reports.
In prepared remarks, Lynch said, "On the enforcement front, we are using every civil, criminal and administrative tool we have to discover, disrupt and dismantle illegal traffic in pharmaceutical controlled substances – and we are making real and significant progress."
She noted the government has increased focus on people and organizations that use the Internet to buy and sell drugs, and has seen a marked reduction in online trafficking. "And we are building cooperation and seamless communication between agencies tasked with combating this challenge by integrating [Drug Enforcement Administration] agents and investigators with other federal, state and local law enforcement officers in 66 Tactical Diversion Squads stationed across 41 states, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia – with three more on the way," she noted.
Lynch said the government continues to support Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs at the state level. She noted, "We recognize that rigorous monitoring is one of the best ways to detect and prevent the diversion of pharmaceuticals."
Forty-nine states and Guam currently have monitoring programs in place, while Washington, D.C., has authorized one, Lynch said.