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Florida Legislation Helps Reduce the Number of "Pill Mills"

NCJ Number
Date Published
February 2018
2 pages
This paper reports on Florida legislation aimed at reducing the availability of prescription opiates from clinics called "pill mills," which were associated with 81 percent of all drug-related or drug-caused deaths in the state in 2010, excluding those caused by alcohol.
Three Florida laws passed in 2010 and 2011 defined and regulated pain-management clinics and established a prescription-drug monitoring program. The pill mill law" passed in 2011 banned pain management clinics from dispensing drugs and established requirements for medical examinations and follow-ups before and after prescribing opioids for chronic pain. Due to these new regulations, the number of pain clinics in the state declined over the next 3 years. A physician prescribing opioids can make thousands of dollars a day, often cash, and owners and physicians can afford expensive defense attorneys. For this reason, some officers interviewed in the study reported that laws allowing law enforcement agencies to seize assets are helpful. Officers also reported that successful investigations depend on a collaborative approach that involves a prosecutor from the beginning of an investigation.

Date Published: February 1, 2018