Sessions moves to block two Ohio doctors from prescribing opioids

Sessions moves to block two Ohio doctors from prescribing opioids
© Greg Nash

The Department of Justice is moving to block two Ohio doctors from writing prescriptions because it alleges they dispensed opioids without a legitimate medical purpose.

Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsTrump: Appointing Sessions was my biggest mistake Nikki Haley blasts Roy Moore's Senate bid: 'He does not represent our Republican Party' Time magazine: Trump threatened reporter with prison time MORE made the announcement in a speech in Ohio on Wednesday. He said the action was the first of its kind and a sign of how serious the administration is about fighting the opioid epidemic.

The DOJ said the doctors had been served this week with temporary restraining orders preventing them from prescribing.

“These injunctions – a temporary restraining order - will stop immediately these doctors from prescribing—without waiting for a criminal prosecution,” Sessions said.

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Sessions said the move is part of a “series of dramatic announcements that reveal the determination of this administration and this Department of Justice to take strong action to combat the grip of death and destruction that has taken hold of our country.”

In addition, Sessions announced indictments of the leaders of a Chinese drug trafficking organization, which the DOJ said distributed synthetic opioids in the United States and other countries.

Sessions also announced charges against online “dark net” opioid dealers.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpConway defends herself against Hatch Act allegations amid threat of subpoena How to defuse Gulf tensions and avoid war with Iran Trump says 'stubborn child' Fed 'blew it' by not cutting rates MORE last week urged Sessions to sue opioid manufacturers. Sessions said Wednesday that “President Trump has directed me to take civil action against drug companies when it is warranted by law—and I will do so.”

Sessions emphasized the move against the two Ohio doctors is a new step, calling it the “first ever civil injunctions under the Controlled Substances Act against doctors who evidence indicates prescribed opioids illegally.”

The DOJ alleges that Dr. Michael Tricasio sold thousands of dollars of narcotics without a legitimate medical purpose. And it says Dr. Gregory Gerber prescribed “countless” opioids without a medical purpose and filed false claims with Medicare.