Doug / 09-14-2011 / Pharmacy Errors

Florida Pharmacy Applications Increased, DEA Warns of Pill Mills

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration reports that the number of applications to open new Florida pharmacies has surged. Sen. Mike Fasano called the increase alarming. A new law seeks to prohibit doctors from dispensing some of the most abused prescription medications from their offices. In 2010, 90 of the top 100 oxycodone-purchasing physicians in the nation were from Florida.

The DEA will not release pharmacy application information, but some say these new businesses are tied to pill mills and rogue medical practices. For the first half of this year, 217 applications were filed with DEA for new pharmacies — excluding chains — in Florida. During the same period in 2010, there were 159 such applications. From Jan. 1 to July 1, 2009, there were 127 applications. For the first half of this year, DEA received 24 applications for new pharmacies, excluding chains, for the Orlando region consisting of Orange, Osceola, Seminole, Volusia and Lake counties. That’s up 41 percent from the same time last year.

Drug agents estimate that pill mills can bring in as much as $25,000 a day and a rogue doctor can make a million dollars annually by prescribing medications to addicts.

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