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Thursday, July 7, 2011

Florida Crack Down On "Pill-Mills"

Agents have begun their crack down on prescription drugs in Florida just like they promised to do a few months ago, in order to slow down the epidemic which has spiraled out of control. Florida’s new ban on doctors and clinics selling painkillers prompted agents this week to raid and seize more than 40,000 pills from pain clinics, the Sun-Sentinel reports.

Florida has one of the nation’s worst prescription drug problems; 90 of the top 100 oxycodone-buying doctors in the country in 2010 were from the state. The new law prohibits “pill mills” from selling narcotic painkillers. Pain doctors are the only individuals that can write prescriptions for narcotics and the prescriptions can only be filled at pharmacies. However, there are some exceptions, including surgeons and hospices.

The newspaper reports that the state’s 700 to 800 pain clinics have until Monday to remove unused pills from their premises. They have two options, they can either give the pills to authorities for destruction or they can return sealed boxes of the pills for a refund.

In a news release, Florida’s Attorney General Pam Bondi said, “With an average of one pain clinic per three days opening in Broward and Palm Beach counties, I am proud to stand at ground zero with our law enforcement partners and tell Floridians that our great state will no longer be known as the pill mill capital of the country.”

Florida is taking a step in the right direction with regard to pharmaceuticals and with a coordinated effort across the state. Cutting out the source of distribution on powerful narcotics will in turn keep millions of pills off the street and out of the hands of people who do not have a prescription. Hopefully this will reduce the number of prescription drug related overdoses across the state.

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