Alabama doctor sentenced for opioid conspiracy

An Alabama doctor and her husband have been sentenced to 52 and 30 months in prison, respectively, for their part in a conspiracy to distribute the opioid drug hydrocodone.

Elizabeth Korcz (48) and Matthew Korcz (47) of Hoover admitted to providing dangerous doses of hydrocodone to patients who were not examined by a medical professional and while Dr Korcz was absent from their Hoover Alt MD clinic.

The defendants did not employ registered nurses or other qualified medical professionals, despite Dr Korcz's absences.

In 2019, nearly 50,000 people in the US died from opioid-involved overdoses, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA).

The Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) meanwhile estimates that the total "economic burden" of prescription opioid misuse alone in the US is $78.5bn a year, including the costs of healthcare, lost productivity, addiction treatment, and criminal justice involvement.

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