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Pam Bondi touts actions on new pill mill legislation

With the state's new law targeting pill mills in full effect, Attorney General Pam Bondi joined Broward County law enforcement officers Tuesday during inspections of doctors offices to ensure prescription narcotics are no longer being dispensed and current inventory is being properly disposed of. Bondi has made fighting the state's prescription drug abuse epidemic a top priority.

Under the new law, which Bondi fought hard for, most physicians can't dispense OxyContin and other powerful pain medications that are responsible for at least seven deaths a day in Florida. Easy access to such drugs in the state have made Florida a destination for drug abusers and dealers from other states.

"We want people to visit Broward County for our beaches, for our weather. Not our one-stop drug shops," said Broward County Sheriff Al Lamberti at a news conference. About 40,000 pills were taken off the streets of Broward County on Tuesday, he said.

The Florida Department of Health, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, and Florida’s Regional Drug Enforcement Strike Forces, created by Gov. Rick Scott, visited doctors' offices across the state to ensure compliance with HB 7095, Florida’s new prescription drug law.

"We saw lots of pills being seized today," Bondi said. "Law enforcement is not going to let up."

Inspections occurred at the offices of 23 physicians, 14 of them in the Miami area. Law enforcement officers visited the offices of three physicians in the Tampa Bay area.

"Today wasn’t the end. Today was pretty much day one," said Keith Kameg, a spokesman for the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

Passage of the HB 7095 was contentious in the 2011 legislative session, with the Senate and House disagreeing on the fate of a prescription drug monitoring database (it remains in place). Also controversial: Limitations on which pharmacies can dispense the drugs and how much they can dispense. Lawmakers will likely revisit that issue in the 2012 session.

Comments

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Dan Coble

Dear Herald,well this is all fine and dandy,and i"m glad to see that things are being done to control drugs,,but while Pam touts her new bill,your putting us honest people at risk! while now we have to go to 2 doctors,one to get our reg. medication high blood pressure meds,and pain management to get my pain medication,while this is costing 2 doctors bills,medicare is picking up the bill.your not telling people that this is going to cost millions to tax payers,we have to pay for urine test every time we walk in the door,my 20% cost me with 2 doctors,$100.00 a month.I get $575.00 a month,do the math,and the good ole tax payer is paying the rest,while the urine test is $130.00,pain doctor $160.00,family doctor $100.00..why is this not being told,i thought you was looking out for the consumer,looks like were being left in the cold agin!!
Try living on $575.00 a month,very hard,there should be a bill looking out for us,i think this is something you need to look into and let the tax payer know what it is costing them,i"m sure they won"t be happy by keeping this quite,just my 2 cents,,while i hope you will see what i"m saying,as seniors are all saying in doctors offices,they will not vote for you ,that you have let us down,and i also think the same way,your just going to make us seniors buy drugs on the street rather than pharmacy"s what a shame!!

Barbara Fowler

Being part of the law enforcement family all my life, I well understand the need for regulations surrounding opoid medications. However, before you so quickly jump on this bandwagon, make sure that you aren't hurting legitimate people with real chronic pain issues because it's not the doctors you are hurting the most - it's the patients! I have suffered the last 20 years of my life with chronic pain of my lower back for which there is no surgical option. I am forced to rely on pain medications to allow me to live a somewhat normal life. Now there's a real oxymoron! Proposed drug legislation like this that the Rick Scott people are putting into effect in Florida is doing more harm to the patients like me than the doctors involved. I can't even get my pain medications at a Walgreens less than a half mile from my house because my doctor is in a different zip code (something that cannot be changed by me) because Walgreens is afraid they are pandering to addicts and will get in trouble with the State of Florida. This whole thing is absurd and you need to realize who the real victims are in your game of legislation.

Lauderdale local

Third victim of these poorly thought out policies. As of now I'm on day two of withdrawal from the back medicine I've taken for the past 3 years (Percocet) and I've been treated like a criminal by every Walgreens in Fort Lauderdale, being told they are all "out of stock."

Due to this very delayed overreaction to a 10 year old epidemic--during which ive seen several of my high school friends from Cardinal Gibbons die from use of Oxycontin (not Percocet!)--I'm now barely able to function and am in intolerable pain because all of the useless "pharmacists" have been given the green light to deny anyone they feel like denying any drug they want to deny,based on no empirical criteria, despite an MD (who last time I checked were the ones with the real educations in the practice of medicine and treatment of pain and disease) making a specific order for a specific type of
medicine their patients be treated with.

Pharmacicts, particularly the CVS and Walgreens types, are nothing more than pill police. They provide the sick absolutely no help, and are only there to enforce politicians', law enforcement, and the drug companies agendas.

Our system is totally broken.

Rick Scott is a criminal.

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