Foxnews.com recently published an article about a raid of a suspected “pill mill” where the reporter accompanied the police on the raid. In Jacksonville and other cities in Florida, local, state and federal law enforcement officials have been targeting pain clinics and doctors whom they suspect are providing pain medicine to people without performing the proper professional practices. We have seen many examples of police, DEA and FBI going after various clinics and making a multitude of arrests. They will often send undercover agents into these places who try to get a large number of pills without the proper examination and medical diagnosis. The government alleges that certain pain clinics and doctors are distributing these pain pills without spending the appropriate quality and quantity of time with the patients to properly examine and diagnose them to determine if they actually need the medicine. The government then says that the patients turn around and abuse the pain pills and/or sell them at a significant premium.
There are many pending cases involving pain clinics in Florida. These cases often target the employees working at the pain clinics, the doctors associated with the pain clinics and the owners profiting from them, even where the owners may have little contact with the actual facility. These prosecutions have significant ramifications. Serious felony charges are being brought that potentially result in serious time in prison. Doctors are losing their authority to prescribe medicine and their medical licenses.
There are, of course, many doctors, employees and executives who are running perfectly legitimate operations to treat people who are in need of pain management. Like many cases that involve relatively new businesses, new issues and an increased focus by law enforcement, it is not always clear who is breaking the law and who is providing an important medical service to people in need. When law enforcement casts the net wide to address what they see as an emerging problem, many times people in the latter category get caught up with those who actually should be charged with a crime and prosecuted.