TALLAHASSEE, FL– Attorney General Pam Bondi announced comprehensive strategies to combat the epidemic of pill mills in Florida. The Attorney General’s initiative includes a series of legislative recommendations for the upcoming legislative session. Because of the proliferation of pill mills, the Sunshine State leads the nation in diverted pharmaceuticals. The State’s top law enforcement official has made it a top priority to aggressively tackle this crisis.
Key recommendations include:
* Mandatory six-month suspension and $10,000 fine for doctors who violate standards of care when prescribing controlled substances;
* Criminal penalty (third-degree felony) for those who use fraud or misrepresentation to register as a pain clinic;
* Criminal penalty for doctors who fail to perform a physical examination before dispensing 72-hours worth of controlled substances; second-degree misdemeanor for the first offense; first-degree misdemeanor for the second offense; and third-degree felony for the third offense; and
* Requirement that anyone who maintains inventory of controlled substances must report the discovery of any theft of controlled substances to local law enforcement or FDLE within 48 hours; failure to do so will result in administrative penalties and fines.
In addition to these proposals, Attorney General Bondi outlined the need for aggressive administrative enforcement on pain clinics and doctors; increased criminal prosecution through partnerships between the Office of Statewide Prosecution and State Attorneys in high drug-trafficking areas; and long-term prevention strategies such as drug takebacks and drug courts.
“Our state needs a unified effort at every level to eradicate Florida’s pill mills,” said Attorney General Bondi. “We are working with state and local law enforcement, as well as our federal partners, to curtail the dangerous dispensing and abuse of prescription drugs.”
Florida has become the destination for distributors and abusers through the proliferation of pill mills. While the Legislature has already enacted several reforms to address this growing problem, Attorney General Bondi has identified additional provisions that will give law enforcement enhanced tools to investigate and prosecute pill mills and crack down on doctors that engage in drug trafficking.
To read the Pill Mill Legislation & Summary, click here, and here.
Healthcare Fraud Blog Publisher, Attorney Robert Malove, is an expert criminal trial lawyer as recognized by The Florida Bar. Mr. Malove has extensive experience in the area of pill mill defense. Criminal defense attorney Robert Malove represents the Florida Academy of Pain Medicine, Florida Academy of Physician Assistants, American Academy of Pain Management, and Florida Society of Neurology and has filed an amicus curiae brief in federal court challenging the constitutionality of the Florida statutes regulating the operation of pain clinics, i.e., pill mills.
If you, or someone you know is facing prosecution as a result of aggressive law enforcement activity targeting pain clinics, i.e., pill mills, you need to make sure you hire a criminal defense attorney who is familiar with pill mill defense. For serious pill mill defense, throughout Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties, call Florida pill mill defense lawyer Robert Malove immediately.