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60 medical professionals were indicted on Wednesday for issuing more than 350,000 illegal pain pill prescriptions, the Washington Post reports.

Details: The investigation used undercover informants and agents to infiltrate medical practices — including 31 doctors, 8 nurse practitioners, 7 pharmacists and 7 other medical professionals — in Kentucky, Ohio, Tennessee, Alabama and West Virginia. Those indicted reportedly exploited their licenses to sell opioids in exchange for money and sexual favors.

  • According to the newly unsealed case documents, the charges include unlawful distribution or dispensing of controlled substances by a medical professional as well as health care fraud, per the Washington Post. Each count carries a 20-year maximum prison sentence, and some defendants are up against multiple counts.

The big picture: This case falls within an extensive Justice Department pursuit to rid the nation of the ongoing opioid epidemic. Last year, the DOJ charged 162 defendants for their roles in prescribing and distributing opioids and other narcotics. Meanwhile, more than 1,500 cities, counties, Native American tribes and unions have filed lawsuits with major drug companies in a massive civil case.

Go deeper

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
1 hour ago - Economy & Business

How the tech stock selloff is hurting average Americans

Expand chart
Data: FactSet; Chart: Axios Visuals

Investors holding the ultra-popular Nasdaq 100 and S&P 500 index funds have been hard hit over the last two weeks as tech shares have been roiled by rising U.S. Treasury yields.

Why it matters: Even though the economy is growing and many U.S. stocks are performing well, most investors are seeing their wealth decline because major indexes no longer reflect the overall economy or even a broad swath of public companies — they reflect the performance of a few of the country's biggest companies.

2 hours ago - World

UN rights chief: At least 54 killed, 1,700 detained since Myanmar coup

A Feb. 7 protest in Yangon, Myanmar. Photo: Getty Images/Getty Images

Police and military officers in Myanmar have killed at least 54 people during anti-coup protests, while "arbitrarily" detaining over 1,700 people, United Nations Human Rights Commissioner Michelle Bachelet said Thursday.

Why it matters: Protesters have demonstrating across Myanmar for nearly a month, demanding the restoration of democracy after the country's military leaders overthrew its democratically elected government on Feb. 1.

3 hours ago - Health

The danger of a fourth wave

Expand chart
Data: The COVID Tracking Project, state health departments; Note: Anomalous Arkansas case data from Feb. 28 was not included in the calculated change; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

The U.S. may be on the verge of another surge in coronavirus cases, despite weeks of good news.

The big picture: Nationwide, progress against the virus has stalled. And some states are ditching their most important public safety measures even as their outbreaks are getting worse.