State drug enforcement is sending a warning to health care professionals to not write illegal prescriptions. As MPB's Mark Rigsby reports, the Bureau of Narcotics its stepping up enforcement to crackdown on prescription drug fraud.
Drug enforcement agents recently arrested and charged two nurse practitioners. Brenda Shelton, of Ripley, and Amanda Jones, of Starkville. Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics Director John Dowdy says his office is focused on finding physicians who write illegal prescriptions.
"We're coming. You don't want MBN and you don't want DEA knocking at your door. To the health care professionals in this state, we're not playing around with this anymore."
Dowdy says Shelton wrote 55 prescriptions over two years without a license. He says Jones wrote prescriptions in the name of a family member and filled them at a local pharmacy. Marshall Fisher is Commissioner of the Department of Public Safety, and the former narcotics chief. He says trained medical professionals misusing their authority is part of the prescription drug problem.
"It is troubling that we have people who are supposed to be on our side, if you will, who have crossed over for whatever reasons. This is not something that just started yesterday, or last year, or even two or three years ago, it's been going on for a while."
MBN says two doctors are still under investigation, and could be charged later. They are Dr. Dwalia South, of Ripley, and Dr. William Bell, of Tupelo. Both doctors surrendered their licenses for prescribing pharmaceutical drugs.