Over the past several years, so-called “pill mills” have sprung up across Broward County. These pain clinics make money by catering to those addicted to prescription drugs like oxycodone or methadone and have spurred legislators to action, and a new law went into effect on October 1. The law limits pain clinics to dispensing only three days’ worth of medication; however, clinic doctors can still prescribe 30 days’ worth of pills, which the patients can pick up elsewhere.
State drug czar Bruce Grant says he has anecdotal evidence that pain clinic owners and investors are circumventing the new law by opening pharmacies outside of the pain clinics, allowing them to continue making money off of addictive pain-killers. According to a Broward Sheriff’s Office Sergeant, some pain clinics even distribute a list of pharmacies instead of giving out pills. It’s estimated that there are around 10 Broward pharmacies that appear on such lists, which are also passed around by addicts and drug dealers.
Once Florida’s prescription monitoring program is fully operational, it’s expected that they will help pharmacists and authorities recognize drug traffickers and addicts and crack down on this growing problem. The program could launch as early 2011.
Source: Some pain clinics find loophole in restrictive new state law, South Florida Sun Sentinel, December 12, 2010
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