Amid opioid epidemic, report finds more doctors stealing prescriptions

When Lauren Lollini went to the hospital for kidney surgery in 2009, she was shocked when she left with hepatitis C and a liver infection.

“My life dramatically changed because now I am a 40-year-old woman with a 1-year-old daughter who is so fatigued I can’t work,” Lollini said.

Hospital technician Kristen Parker had infected Lollini and at least 18 others by stealing their pain medication and then leaving contaminated syringes for reuse. She’s now serving 30 years in jail.

“She was taking them off surgical trays, using them for herself, her own use, and then filling them with saline and putting them back on trays,” Lollini said. “I really was angry at the broken system. The hospital that hired her — unbeknownst to them that she had been let go from other jobs.”

A new report that will be released Tuesday by data firm Protenus finds that this so-called “opioid diversion” is a growing problem. In 2018, more than 47 million doses of legally prescribed opioids were stolen, an increase of 126 percent from the year before.