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  • Writer's pictureSalisa Westrick

Pain clinic owners sentenced for unlawfully distributing opioids and multimillion-dollar fraud

Earlier this week, a judge sentenced Dr. Mark Murphy (physician) and his wife, each to 20 years in prison for unlawfully distributing opioids and conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud. They owned and operated North Alabama Pain Services (closed since early 2017). Murphy wrote prescriptions for more than ten million opioid pills, including millions of oxycodone 30 mg tablets. During the same five-year period, Murphy and his wife Jennifer, who helped run the clinics, ordered tens of millions of dollars of unnecessary items and services that were paid by taxpayer-funded and private insurance programs. The Murphys received kickbacks for those orders and prescriptions. In all, Medicare, TRICARE, and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama were billed more than $280 million as a result of the fraud and kickback schemes, and paid more than $50 million. Read more about it at

We all are aware that the abuse of prescription drugs, especially opioids, is a serious problem in Alabama. Pharmacists play an integral role in preventing the addiction problem and in detecting a possible fraud.

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