Florida strike forces target pill mills

3:11 PM, Jul 5, 2011   |    comments
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Tallahassee, Florida - Law enforcement strike forces are fanning out across Florida and targeting the worst pill mill operations.

Florida has earned a reputation as the pill mill capital of the country because a lot of doctors are prescribing powerful prescription drugs for profit.

Florida Surgeon General Dr. Frank Farmer says 98 of the top 100 doctors dispensing Oxycodone nationally are located in the state.

"The statistics are staggering. When people travel from Kentucky, Tennessee to come down to Florida to get drugs and then return to their states, it is a scourge."

The strike teams are focusing on doctors in 24 locations, mainly in South Florida. Fourteen are in Miami, three are in Ft. Myers, three are in Tampa, three are in Orlando, and one is in Pensacola.

As part of a new law in Florida, Farmer has issued a public health emergency declaration paving the way for the strike teams to crack down on pill mills.

Police are going after doctors who have dispensed an average of 2,000 doses of Schedule II or III controlled substances in the past six months.

The doctors can return the drugs to suppliers, hand them over to police or place them in quarantine in their own facilities.

Dr. Farmer says he's confident Florida's new anti-pill mill law will fix the problem of prescription drug dealing.

"All the law enforcement agencies and the Department of Health will do everything we can to see that this is brought under control."

The new law also contains tougher penalties for over-prescribing Oxycodone and other Schedule II and III drugs.

Plus, it will track the distribution of certain controlled substances with a new database that should be operational by October.

Dave Heller

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