Oxycontin and prescription script From 2012 to 2016, RDC’s sales of Oxycodone increased 800 percent and sales of fentanyl rose 2,000 percent. (Photo: Shutterstock)

Federal prosecutors unveiled the first criminal charges against pharmaceutical executives for illegally diverting opioids, accusing the former chief executive officer and the head of compliance at a major U.S. drug distributor with a narcotics conspiracy.

Laurence F. Doud III, who spent 25 years as CEO of Rochester Drug Co-operative, and William Pietruszewski orchestrated a scheme to distribute high volumes of Oxycodone, fentanyl and other highly addictive opioids to pharmacies knowing the drugs would be sold to people who had no medical need for them, prosecutors said. Doud, 75, and other executives pressed ahead with the sales to increase revenue and boost their salaries, the U.S. said.

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