The Los Angeles Bureau of Narcotic Enforcement is ramping up its intense investigation into Southern California doctors that have been over prescribing pharmaceuticals including Oxycontin, Vicodin, Ritalin and other opiate-based narcotics. This year long investigation has uncovered at least one pharmacy in the Los Angeles/Orange County area who was proscribing over 2 million dollars worth of prescriptions from one local physician alone. The Pharmacy Board of California, the Medical Board of California, Medi-Cal Fraud and other local law enforcement agencies are currently prosecuting this and similar cases.
The BNE is required to investigate pharmacists, physicians, nurses and other people who use legal channels to procure pharmaceuticals and in turn sell them illegally. This task force is currently investigating other individuals in Orange County, San Bernardino County and Riverside County for obtaining prescription drugs unlawfully. The number of cases of pharmaceutical scams is increasing, likely the result of the internet.
In response to this problem, the BNE has established a Diversion Program to reduce the number of incidents of drug diversion. This includes increasing the number of agents to enforce the laws of illegally obtained prescriptions, including forged or counterfeit prescriptions, illegal online pharmacies and unlawful prescription writing by licensed physicians, nurses, psychiatrist, dentist, podiatrist, veterinarians, pharmacist and other licensed professionals.