Today was the beginning of the last chapter in Florida's strange status as America's pill mill capital. Strike forces fanned out across the state visiting clinics specializing in freely prescribing addictive prescription pills to round up their leftover stash. New laws passed in the past two years give the state more power to crack down on such operations.
According to the Sun-Sentinel
, the state will put what it hopes is the final nail in the pill mill coffin this week:
This week, state agents and health officials are to start visiting the 700 to 800 Florida pain clinics to confiscate the leftovers. Florida Surgeon General H. Frank Farmer authorized the campaign Friday by declaring a "state of emergency" in prescription drug abuse. First to be visited by state authorities: clinics and doctors that ordered at least 2,000 pain pills a month so far this year or that have a history of bad behavior.
New laws say doctors can only prescribe the addictive pills, like Oxycontin, and can not dispense them on site. Patients must now pick up the pills at a pharmacy.
Though, a law that went in effect in October had previously limited the clinics to only dispensing a three day supply at a time.
Before that, few regulations allowed clinics to spring up across Florida freely dispensing pain pills. In many cases addicts from across America made pilgrimages to Florida to get their fix. Unsurprisingly, South Florida become a hotbed for such clinics, with Broward County becoming ground zero for the problem.