11 physicians charged in federal opioid bust in Appalachia region

Eleven physicians were charged Tuesday in connection with a U.S. Justice Department drug bust targeting opioid pill mills in the Appalachian region.

The charges follow earlier arrests in April in which 53 medical professionals in 11 federal districts were charged with distributing more 23 million pills illegally.

Three details to know:

1. Four physicians were charged in the Southern District of Ohio with healthcare fraud and controlled substance diversion, including Troy Balgo, DO, the elected Belmont County coroner and owner of two medical clinics. The other three physicians charged include George Griffin, MD, with 20 counts of distribution of controlled substances, Thomas Romano, MD, with 20 counts of diversion of controlled substances and Freeda Flynn, MD, with eight counts of distribution of controlled substances and one count of healthcare fraud.

2. In the Southern District of West Virginia, Sriramloo Kesari, MD, Ricky Houdersheldt, MD and Michael Shramowiat, MD, were charged with distributing controlled substances without a legitimate medical purpose.

3. Frank McNeil, MD, and Samuel Mcgaha, MD, were both charged with unlawful distribution of controlled substances in the Eastern District of Tennessee.

Read more here.

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