The Miami Herald reports that recently-elected Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi has announced that one of her priorities is to go after so-called "pill mills."
She has been quoted as saying, ``Cracking down on pill mills is one of our top priorities.''
Some of Bondi's proposed reforms include:
• Mandatory six-month suspension and $10,000 fine for doctors who violate standards of care when prescribing controlled substances.
• A third-degree felony conviction for anyone who fraudulently registers as a pain clinic.
• Criminal penalties for doctors who fail to perform a physical examination before dispensing 72 hours' worth of controlled substances.
• Fines for keepers of controlled substances who fail to report thefts to law enforcement within 48 hours.
South Florida has been particularly hard hit, with 9 million oxycodone tablets prescribed in Broward and Palm Beach counties in the first six months of 2010, she said.
Bondi and her staff consider prescription pain clinics to be "legal drug dealers."
Pain clinics prescribe medication to patients, such as oxycodone (OxyContin), hydrocodone (Vicodin), morphine, methadone, alprazolam (Xanax), and more.
Pain clinics are often targeted by law enforcement who may investigate patients who obtain the medications with phony prescriptions and then distribute the drugs on the street.
Trafficking in prescription drugs carries some of the toughest penalties in the State of Florida.
For instance, trafficking in oxycodone over 28 grams carries a mandatory 25-year prison sentence.
If you are arrested or under investigation for trafficking, or any criminal charge related to the operation or patronage of a pain clinic, contact me.
I am a criminal defense attorney who represents clients charged with trafficking in Miami-Dade and Broward.
All consultations are confidential.