Federal agents and local law enforcement raided 11 pain clinics in South Florida Wednesday in the biggest operation yet against the illegal prescription pain pill industry. #
According to the Sun-Sentinel, drug agents raided 11 pain clinics from Miami to West Palm Beach, arresting 23 people and seizing $2.5 million in cash. #
The Sentinel noted that among those arrested were four physicians, including the son of Broward Medical Examiner Joshua Perper, and five owners of raided pain clinics. #
The high volume of illegal sales of prescription pain medication in Florida moved former Gov. Charlie Crist to authorize in 2009 a Prescription Drug Monitoring Program, a “statewide, comprehensive electronic system to monitor the prescribing and dispensing of controlled substances.” #
The Florida Medical Examiners’ 2009 report indicates that the drugs that caused the most deaths included Oxycodone (1,185) and Hydrocodone (265), two drugs categorized as pain killers. The report also shows a steady rise in the number of deaths due to the use of Oxycodone from July 2008 though December 2009. The 2008 medical examiners report indicated that every day six people died from prescription drug overdoses. #
Gov. Rick Scott’s proposed budget contains a proposal to repeal the law authorizing the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program. #
State Sen. Mike Fasano, R-New Port Richey, who supported the creation of the drug monitoring program, strongly opposes Scott’s proposal to undo the system. #
Dozens of current and former corrections workers from all over the state showed up at a state Senate rules committee meeting yesterday to voice their opposition to two bills that would allow the state to privatize prisons. Despite the emotional testimony warning of the calamitous effects of prison privatization, the bill eventually moved forward to its final committee stop.
In April, The Florida Independent's Ashley Lopez broke news about a provision in the state's Medicaid overhaul that allows providers to opt out of providing family planning services for moral or religious reasons. Months later, Lopez explored whether the provision was legal, examining the claim that if family planning providers cannot afford to participate in Medicaid because of low reimbursement rates, women in the state could be left stranded.