State agents in South Florida began to enforce the state’s new ban on doctors and clinics selling painkillers this week. They seized more than 40,000 pills from pain clinics, the Sun-Sentinel reports.
Florida has become the center of the country’s prescription drug epidemic; 90 of the top 100 oxycodone-buying doctors in the country in 2010 were from the state.
Under the new law, “pill mills” can no longer sell narcotic painkillers. Now only pain doctors can write prescriptions for the drugs, which must only be filled at pharmacies. There are some exceptions, including surgeons and hospices. The newspaper reports that the state’s 700 to 800 pain clinics must get rid of unused pills by Monday. They can either give the pills to authorities, who will destroy them, or they can return sealed boxes of the pills for a refund.
In a news release, Florida’s Attorney General Pam Bondi said, “With an average of one pain clinic per three days opening in Broward and Palm Beach counties, I am proud to stand at ground zero with our law enforcement partners and tell Floridians that our great state will no longer be known as the pill mill capital of the country.”