“Pill mills” is the label given to doctor offices, health care facilities, and clinics that go beyond their legal scope in terms of prescribing controlled prescription drugs. The medical community has certain standards for such medical offices, that when violated, criminal legal consequences can follow. Inappropriate and excessive quantities of prescription drugs are a violation of Florida Law. In the last four years, Florida became the unofficial leader of pill mills in the United States.
Crackdown of Pill Mills in Florida
Florida began to crackdown on “Pill Mills” with the 2011 anti-pill mill bill. Regulation of prescription drugs is done by a drug-monitoring database. Use of this database has lead to the closing of many of these “pain clinics”. Some legitimate physicians and pharmacies have become the target of overreaching prosecution by the State. It is essential for some patients to have the availability of these types of clinics to help with chronic pain management or terminal illness. If you or anyone you know have been involved in any pill mill criminal investigations, be sure to contact an experienced Criminal Defense Trial Attorney like Kenneth Padowitz. Criminal charges such as drug trafficking can ensnare doctors and practitioners who are caught running a medical office designated a “pill mill” by law enforcement. Florida’s anti-pill mill laws have strengthened penalties for those accused of such violations of the law.
Pill Mills and Federal Prosecution
Being that “pill mills” are a widespread problem, the Federal Government has also put in place certain parameters to combat the issue. Therefore, if a pharmacist or physician is operating an office that law enforcement designates a “pill mill”, federal drug trafficking laws can be applicable. Other crimes are also associated with “pill mills” such as racketeering and conspiracy to commit money laundering. These federal charges could come with life imprisonment and fines of up to $2 million, as was recently applied to two South Florida doctors.
Those Targeted in the Crackdown of Pill Mills and Prescription Drug Abuse
- Doctors who write an unusually high number of pain prescriptions
- Pharmacists who dispense unusually high numbers of pain medications
- “Doctor Shopping”: individuals who get pain medication prescriptions from multiple doctors in a short period of time.
Fort Lauderdale Criminal Defense Attorney
Citizens in real need of pain medications are sometimes denied their access to medications due to the overzealous prosecution of these new laws. Experienced Fort Lauderdale Criminal Defense Trial Attorney Kenneth Padowitz, has successfully handled pill mill charges and other drug offenses in Florida in Broward, Miami, Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Weston, Parkland, Plantation, Davie, Cooper City, Pembroke Pines, Hollywood, Hallandale and Boca Raton.