Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Sen. Dave Aronberg Takes On Pill Mills

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Again! It's no surprise that "pain clinics" have been on
the rise. Lax oversight and regulation of these
clinics have made it exceedingly easy for
criminals to operate and own them. For many
owners, the goal in owning and operating
these clinics is not to provide pain relief to
those who truly need it, but to legally traffic
prescription drugs. Far too many tragic deaths
have resulted from these so-
called "pill mills,"often feeding the addictions of Florida's young
people.
The statistics are staggering: There are now
more "pain clinics" in Broward County than
there are McDonalds. More than 1.1 million
oxycodone pills are dispensed each month in
Broward County even though the total
population of the county is 1.7 million.
Legalized painkillers now cause three times
the number of deaths than illegal drugs. An
estimated 9 Floridians die per day from
prescription drug abuse.

It's unfortunate and tragic how many letters
and e-mails I receive each week from families
begging me to do something about this terrible
problem. Here are a couple of excerpts from
constituents:
"I have been the victim of this horrible
disease of having three beautiful sons addicted
to this Oxycontin. We have been through hell
and back, I never know when I will wake up in
the morning and find my sons dead
...but these
doctors make it so easy, last week one of my
sons even got a letter with a huge gold star,
20% off if he comes back...I hope there is
something that all of us could do before it is too
late..."
"I lost a 24 year old son last year to just such a
problem [pain clinics]. He was getting meds
pretty easy through a doctor here in Palm
Beach County...The laws seem to be outdated
and geared to keep the doctors in business and
the users in jail ins
tead of getting help."

"I have made providing greater oversight over
these clinics one of my top priorities for the
2010 legislative session. Last session, I co-
sponsored a successful bill to establish a
prescription drug-monitoring program to help
reduce "doctor shopping" and to provide some
oversight over the pill mills but more needs to
be done.
This session, I have already filed SB 646, which
will require that only licensed physicians in
good standing can own a pain clinic. The bill
also limits the dispensing of these dangerous
painkillers to doctors and pharmacists on
premises.
We need to allow responsible doctors to
continue to help those suffering from chronic
pain, and stop ex-felons and those with sinister
motives from turning pain clinics into pill mills.
We cannot afford anything else, and Floridians
deserve nothing less.

Our fight against consumer fraud continues! Since the beginning of 2003, my office has assisted in the return of more than $4.1 million to people who have called about being ripped off.

STATE SENATOR DAVE ARONBERG

6415 Lake Worth Road, Suite 210
Greenacres, FL 33463
Phone: 561/433-2627, Fax: 561/434-3995
E-mail:
aronberg.dave.web@flsenate.gov

If you have a consumer problem no matter how large or small call us at: 561/433-2627.


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