Woman misled more than 150 Mayo doctors to help feed opiate addiction
(THE MED CITY BEAT) - An Eyota woman has pleaded guilty to using at least 31 aliases to obtain prescription opiates from various Mayo Clinic satellite locations throughout Minnesota and Wisconsin.
Nanci Dusso, 50, entered her plea last week in federal court in St. Paul to charges of fraudulently obtaining a controlled substance and Social Security fraud.
According to court records, Dusso may have obtained more than 6,000 prescription opiates — including Hydrocodone and Oxycodone — from more than 150 doctors at about a dozen providers since as early as 2008.
“Prescription drug abuse is both a crime and a serious health problem in Minnesota,” said U.S. Attorney Andrew Luger, according to a news release. “This defendant deceived doctors and nurses in multiple states in order to obtain these powerful opioids."
In addition to lying about her identity, Dusso often used a story in which she complained of shoulder pain and indicated that she was visiting a family member suffering from cancer.
Authorities became aware of the alleged criminal activity when a nurse practitioner at one Mayo satellite location became suspicious and reported her to the clinic's security department. A system-wide alert was sent out, and at least two other facilities subsequently reported Dusso to police.
The Rochester Police Department assisted state and federal authorities in the investigation.
More than 2 million people in the U.S. are addicted to prescription opioid pain relievers, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
One of the major causes of the epidemic is an over-reliance on the drugs by medical professionals. In 2013, 207 million prescriptions were filled out for opioid pain medications.
Click here if you need help with a drug addiction.