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Apr-17-2010 20:11printcomments

Time for Florida to Boot the Pill Mills

"It's time to tell southern Florida state lawmakers and the 'pill mills' they allow to stay in business -- to get out of Dodge -- We're taking back our state."

cartoon man being booted
Courtesy: dealbase.com

(FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla.) - State lawmakers in southern Florida have given the "green light" to pill mills to hand out mega quantities of painkillers to those seeking them and have dropped plans to prohibit pain management clinics from dispensing more than a 72-hour supply of medication.

Marianne Skolek

Lobbyists for the medical industry forced the change in legislation drawn up to bring an end to the area’s reputation as the center of the nation’s pill mill business.

The maneuver has shocked local officials who have sought reform.

Broward County Commissioner Stacy Ritter, a former state representative long critical of the Republican-controlled Legislature, said lawmakers have gutted the bill. At a meeting this week with other commissioners, Ritter charged that the Legislature had “bowed to an altar of gold” by giving in to medical industry demands.

Ritter said that little would change in the runaway business of pain management clinics unless the state limits prescriptions, restricts advertising and pays for a prescription registry database. “Like much of what they do, all they have done here is feel good so they can come out and tell their constituents about all the great things they’ve done when they’ve really done nothing,” Ritter said. “If you aren’t limiting the ability of these pain clinics to dispense medicine, you aren’t doing anything to solve the problem.”

The Broward County Grand Jury issued a "damning" 70 page report on the "Proliferation of Pain Clinics in South Florida" (link provided below) in November 2009.

The conclusion of the report shows that "In the past 2 years the number of pain clinics in South Florida mushroomed from 4 to 176, dumping 9 million dose units of Oxycodone in our community every 6 months. Although the pain clinics originated in Broward County, they have spread north quickly throughout the rest of Florida, particularly in the major metropolitan areas.

With the enactment of the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program and the legislation that provides the medical licensing boards with authority to regulate the pain clinics, there is hope that the legislation will effectively eliminate doctor shopping once the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program is implemented and the medical licensing boards set rules and standards of practice for the pain clinics and the doctors who work at the clinics.

While obviously not all pain clinics are Pill Mills, Pill Mills are a true danger whose harms will be affecting our communities long into the future in ways unbeknownst to us. With the implementation of the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program, our community should see the eradication of Pill Mills and the further emergence of pain medicine that truly addresses patients’ ailments."

Broward County, Florida's Sheriff Al Lamberti

Broward County Sheriff Al Lamberti said he also saw a 72-hour limit on prescriptions as a critical part of controlling prescription drug abuse in the area.

Lamberti noted that the Sheriff’s Office has found pain clinic doctors writing prescriptions for up to 300 pills – enough of a supply to last five months. He said that encourages abuse and is responsible for out-of-state residents coming here for pain medicine.

“We can’t continue to drag our feet because the problem is getting worse and something must be done,” Lamberti said. “Doing nothing is not an acceptable option.”

According to the Broward Sheriff’s Office, more than 1 million tablets of OxyContin, one of the most powerful and dangerous painkillers on the market are prescribed every month in Broward. Also, the agency reports that 38 of the 50 doctors who most prescribe OxyContin in the United State are located in Broward.

Sheriff Al Lamberti says. "You need a background check to get a liquor license — you can't be a convicted felon and open up a bar — but you can be a convicted felon and open up a pain clinic." It is not required to be a doctor to run a pain management clinic.

I have a suggestion for the residents of southern Florida -- your legislators have failed you badly -- you have to send a message that you will not sit back and let "pill mills" take over your communities. It's time to tell them loud and clear -- "Get out of Dodge." You need a "Marshall Dillon" to clean up your state. Contact Sheriff Al Lamberti at ask_the_sheriff@sheriff.org or at (954) 765-4321.

Tell Sheriff Lamberti that you want to close down these "pill mills" once and for all and ask what you can do to help him accomplish this goal.

And then at your next election, get rid of the politicians who bow down to lobbyists in the medical industry -- and have no concern for the lives of the people they represent.

It's time for southern Florida to take "Dodge" back from the pill mills with "Marshall Dillon's" help.


sao17.state.fl.us/Pill%20Mill%20Grand%20Jury.pdf
time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1981582,00.html
weblogs.sun-sentinel.com/news/politics/broward/blog/2010/04/lawmakers_strip_away_key_limit.html


Salem-News.com Reporter Marianne Skolek, is an Activist for Victims of OxyContin throughout the United States and Canada. In July 2007, she testified against Purdue Pharma in Federal Court in Virginia at the sentencing of their three CEO's who pled guilty to charges of marketing OxyContin as less likely to be addictive or abused to physicians and patients. She also testified against Purdue Pharma at a Judiciary Hearing of the U.S. Senate in July 2007. Marianne works with government agencies and private attorneys in having a voice for her daughter Jill, who died in 2002 after being prescribed OxyContin, as well as the voice for scores of victims of OxyContin. She has been involved in her work for the past 7-1/2 years and is currently working on a book that exposes Purdue Pharma for their continued criminal marketing of OxyContin.

Marianne is a nurse having graduated in 1991 as president of her graduating class. She also has a Paralegal certification. Marianne served on a Community Service Board for the Courier News, a Gannet newspaper in NJ writing articles predominantly regarding AIDS patients and their emotional issues. She was awarded a Community Service Award in 1993 by the Hunterdon County, NJ HIV/AIDS Task Force in recognition of and appreciation for the donated time, energy and love in facilitating a Support Group for persons with HIV/AIDS.

oxydeaths.com/news_chilling.htm
nytimes.com/2007/05/10/business/11drug-web.html?
blog.nj.com/njv_bob_braun/2007/07/sometimes_only_justice_can_rel.html
judiciary.senate.gov/hearings/testimony.cfm?id=2905&wit_id=6612
You can send Marianne an email at: mskolek@aol.com
oxydeaths.com




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Todd Perry February 4, 2013 5:29 pm (Pacific time)

That is a bald face lie, the state of Florida is only closing some pill mills down to shut up the public and the media. they are not going to ever shut them all down because they would loose to much money from the taxes and kick backs. You can contact and report a pill mill and volunteer to help shut them down and they ignore you even with proof. No law enforcement agencies from local to state will do anything about them.


William May 17, 2011 11:06 am (Pacific time)

Pill Mills are a problem in Florida i am currently doing a project on it which we will present to rick scott. Please tell me of anything else bad about pill mills.


Brenda December 1, 2010 5:16 pm (Pacific time)

I just spent half a day trying to fill a perfectly legitimate rx for oxycontin written by one of the most respected pain management experts in Palm Beach County who wrote the rx for a very good reason. Every single pharmacy was out because the government has pressured the manufacturers into sharply limiting the amount of oxycontin they send to South Florida. This results in pharmacists having to make rationing decisions. The problem is that they aren't qualified to so so. Those of you who think the FDA is qualified to determine how many pills per capita should be shipped to any given locality will perhaps have cause to change your mind someday when you have to watch a loved one suffer a lifetime of pain because irresponsile people blame their drug abuse on the manufacturers and doctors. Take responsibility for your own behavior people. I'm all for shutting down bogus clinics, but that's not the path our government chose.

Editor: Brenda, do you realize that Purdue chose to be dishonest and initially market Oxycontin as 'non lethal' and 'non addictive'?   That is the root problem, the goal is not to deny legitimate use of anything, OK?  I'm sorry the stuff is so damned addictive. 


BRUCE October 13, 2010 5:14 pm (Pacific time)

I AM AN ALCOHOL AND DRUG COUNSELOR AND A FORMER LAW ENFORCEMENT NARCOTIC OFFICER AND SEE MOST OF MY PATIENTS COME IN HOOKED ON OPIATES. THE REALITY OF THE SITUATION IS LEGITIMATE PAIN MEDICATION LEGITIMATELY PRESCRIBED AND DISPENSED GENERALLY IS NOT THE PROBLEM. MARIANNE IS CORRECT THAT ALMOST ANYONE CAN WALK INTO ONE OF THESE PILL MILLS AND HAVE THE "DOCTOR" WATCH THEM BEND OVER AND TRY TO TOUCH THEIR TOES THEN HAND OVER 180 OXYCODONE PILLS. THE LEGITIMATE LICENSED PAIN CLINICS WHO DO ALL OF THEIR WORK ABOVE BOARD AND TRY TO LIMIT THEIR PATIENTS TO THOSE WITH INSURANCE BUT DO ALLOW CASH CUSTOMERS AFTER A THOUROUGH CHECK-UP, URINALYSIS AND BLOOD WORK ARE A NECESSITY FOR THOSE THAT GENUINELY "NEED" PAIN MANAGEMENT. I GO TO ONE OF THESE LEGITIMATE LICENSED CLINICS IN FORT MYERS DUE TO SEVERAL BONE SPURS ON 3 OF MY SPINAL DISCS CAUSING INTENSE PAIN AT TIMES. I RESPONSIBLEY USE MY MEDICATION ( AS PRESCRIBED )ALONG WITH PHYSICAL AND ELECTRONIC THERAPY. ADDICTION IS USING ANYTHING AS AN ESCAPE TOOL AND MORE AND MORE PEOPLE-YOUNG AND OLDER-TURN TO THESE PILL MILLS TO "FEEL GOOD" BECAUSE THEY'RE MASKING OTHER ISSUES. WE NEED TO HAVE A DATA BASE PAID FOR IN PLACE TO MONITOR OPIATES DISPENSED FROM ANY PHARMACY. THEY NEED TO LIMIT THEM TO PHARMACIES AND NOT LET THESE PILL MILL DOCTORS GET THEIR HANDS ON THEM TO DISPENSE AT WILL. THE 72 HOUR SUPPLY RULE THAT GOT THROWN OUT WAS FOR "CASH" CUSTOMERS ONLY AND WAS NOT TO BE APPLIED TO THOSE WITH INSURANCE. FLORIDA HAS BEEN A BACKWARD STATE FAR TOO LONG ON MANY ISSUES AND THIS IS ONE BIG DEADLY ISSE.


lucifer October 12, 2010 12:29 am (Pacific time)

hands off my meds!!!!! marianne, you are a very misguided soul.do you not know that alcohol causes more deaths than all the rx legal and illegal drugs combined. why do all these people blame the doctor for their loved ones death? try putting the blame where it belongs, on the person who abused their meds and paid the price. nobody put a gun to their head and made them abuse their meds. this whole thing is clearly a witch hunt.salem, anybody?

Editor: Oh what a bunch of garbage you write.  Marianne is a truth warrior like the rest of us at Salem-News.com.  Purdue is a massive, greedy evil giant and they were convicted in federal court of totally misleading the public as well as healthcare providers, about the drug's lethality.  You are probably from Purdue; another attempt to slip in a pro Purdue comment.  Of course the name you use tells us all we need to know, witch hunt indeed.


no thanks September 29, 2010 5:12 pm (Pacific time)

U take away pain clinics and watch how many people start to overdose on Heroin or just commit suicide because they are in to much pain. Just figure out a way to stop the doctor shoppers thats all. Make all the pharms be interconnected to where anyones name can pop up if they go to more than one doctor. That is the real problem. Not the doctors. Its the doctor shoppers that are putting so many pills out on the streets. You stop the doctor shopping and I think it would do alot of good. The facts are that there are alot of people that are in alot of pain and honestly cant get through a day of work without a little help. I myself cant even get out of bed the next morning after the days and type of work I put in. I dont abuse medication but as I have gotten older it just seems like gravity takes over and things happen. All these pencil pushers and computer geeks have no clue on what its like to shovel ten yards of gravel or dig a ditch twenty by 40 feet long day in and day out. The fact is that back pain is a huge issue for hard working americans and the ones that are smart enough to take there meds properly shuld not be the ones who suffer because the state doesnt know how to impliment a pharmacy law that makes them interconnect there computer database to catch the bad guys and be done with this mess.


genesis July 28, 2010 10:30 am (Pacific time)

If you or someone you love needs treatment for substance abuse please call us at 1-800-737-0933


Kenny June 3, 2010 9:56 pm (Pacific time)

Great work Marianne! Keep it up! Please help support: "PARENTS AGAINST PRESCRIPTION DRUG ABUSE" at PAPDA.net


Lynn Locascio April 19, 2010 7:25 am (Pacific time)

As always Marianne is on target, I live in FLA. Our lawmakers have failed us. This bill passed last year was so watered down it will do nothing to stop the pill mills, the burden to report the dispensing is on the pharmacy NOT the doctor (one of the main sources of distribtion)the pharmacy has up to 15 days to report, "ONE" can doctor shop alot in 15 days! The real bill needs to hold the doctor responsible for reporting the prescription and checking the data base for possible abuse/addiction, also need finger print machines for real time reporting but FLA says thats too expensive and the doctors couldnt be bothered. The "team" that is responsible for this modern day plague is PURDUE PHARMA AND OUR DOCTORS. Purdue Pharma sells them and our doctors deal them....and thats all legal.....wake up FLA!! We are now up to 10 a day dying from pills....


Mark April 18, 2010 2:48 pm (Pacific time)

I'm sure it's just a coincidence that right-wing OxyContin user Rush Limbaugh has a home in Manalapan, very near Broward County.


Anonymous April 18, 2010 8:43 am (Pacific time)

Thank you for the article Marianne..perfect timing too, I was just winding up some research this morning on Heantos. After a couple of months, and probably 24-30 hours of research, emails/phone calls to Vietnam, John Hopkins University and the such, I am 100% certain that Heantos cures heroin addiction within a few days, and most do not even crave it afterward. It is also 100% safe. It is illegal in the U.S. I have a loved one that is addicted to heroin. I have to now spend 2-3 thousand dollars to fly to vietnam, altho the treatment is very inexpensive. While FDA approved phamaceutical drugs are killing hundreds of thousands I can not get a safe effective all herbal supplement for my loved one. I could take her a clinic, but they only give methadone which is worse than heroin. Go figure.

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