A "pill mill" refers to any doctor's office, clinic, or healthcare facility that routinely prescribes or dispenses controlled substances outside of the scope of prevailing medical practices, or which violates Florida's laws regarding the dispensing or prescribing of prescription drugs.
Just a few years back, in 2010, Florida was the leader in diverted prescription drugs. Florida became the destination for both drug abusers and distributors alike through the explosion of Florida's pill mills.
While there are legitimate pain-management clinics that serve those suffering from chronic diseases and terminal illness, other clinics, otherwise known as pill mills, are using their storefronts and licenses to operate as drug traffickers. Common characteristics of a pill mill includes:
- No appointments
- Cash only
- They don't accept insurance
- Little to no medical records
- Grossly inadequate medical examinations
- Large prescription doses for narcotics
What the Government is Saying
According to the United States Department of Justice, more accidental deaths are caused by drug overdose than by car accidents. The DOJ reports that according to a national survey, more than six million Americans abuse prescription drugs. The same study revealed that over 70% of people who abuse prescription drugs obtain their pain killers from friends or relatives.
Until recently, Florida was the epicenter of drug diversion due to the state's lack of regulatory oversight, and limited oversight over physician dispensing practices.
Pill Mills – Florida Strikes Back
In March of 2011, Governor Rick Scott announced a statewide law enforcement response to the criminal distribution of prescription drugs. The objectives are to target doctors, clinics, and other healthcare facilities that prescribe or dispense controlled substances without medical necessity, or beyond the scope of a legitimate medical practice.
Further objectives include:
- Pursue doctors who are engaged in fraud against private insurance companies and state or federal public health benefit programs.
- Seize and forfeit assets of those who benefited from their involvement in pill mills.
- Seek restitution for investigative expenses.
According to the Office of the Attorney General of Florida Pam Bondi, as of November 24, 2013, there were a total of 4,326 arrests, 78 doctors arrested, and 254 pill mill clinics shut down.
If you are a physician who is being accused of running a "pill mill" or illegally dispensing controlled substances, or if you are an individual who has been accused of prescription drug fraud, you are urged to contact a
Miami criminal defense attorney from Parks & Braxton, PA. We are available 24/7, and will review your case for free.