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Former Suboxone clinic doctor charged with improper prescribing, health care fraud

Why it’s so hard to break an opioid addiction

More than half a million people died between 2000 and 2015 from opioid use. In 2017 the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services declared the national opioid crisis a public health emergency.
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More than half a million people died between 2000 and 2015 from opioid use. In 2017 the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services declared the national opioid crisis a public health emergency.

A doctor illegally prescribed an addiction-treatment drug at a clinic in Lawrence County and defrauded Medicaid, a grand jury has charged.

The grand jury charged Curtis Edens with two counts of Medicaid fraud, one count of improperly prescribing a controlled substance and five counts of theft by deception, according to Attorney General Andy Beshear.

Beshear announced the charges Monday because his office investigated the case.

Edens, 57, of Hardeeville, S.C. operated a clinic in Louisa in 2016 that prescribed Suboxone. The drug is used to treat addiction to opioids such as oxycodone pain pills, but is often abused itself in Kentucky.

Edens allegedly fraudulently charged people cash for services.

The program bars providers from charging people cash for services covered by Medicaid, Beshear said in a news release

“The wrongful prescribing of Suboxone is flooding our communities with yet another drug that is killing our children, destroying our families and scarring our neighborhoods,” Beshear said in a news release. “While there are honest, legal Suboxone clinics that provide real and needed treatment in our state, the rogue clinics who value money over lives must be shut down.”

Edens was indicted May 12 and arrested that day in South Carolina. He waived extradition on Monday and will be returned to Kentucky for arraignment, Beshear said.

The clinic Edens operated is closed.

Beshear said the Appalachia High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area and the Cabinet for Health and Family Services Drug Enforcement and Professional Practices Branch assisted in the investigation.

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