Florida “Pill Mills”: What Are They and Why Should I Be Concerned?
The state of Florida historically has had very favorable laws when it comes to physician prescribing practices, especially as they relate to prescription pain medication. However, this has come at a great cost, as Florida has experienced significant hardship over the past decade in terms of serious injuries and deaths resulting from the overuse of prescription pain medication.
Given the lax laws in Florida which have now changed, numerous physicians were flocking to the state to open up clinics where they could prescribe and/or dispense pain medication outside the scope of standard medical care. This enables these physicians to both make additional money on the side, and enable drug abusers to get their fix, and in large quantities. These clinics have adopted the term "pill mills," simply because they are located in many places. While Florida has cracked down, and pill mills are being shut down on a regular basis, there are still such clinics all throughout the Southeast and the rest of the United States that continue to cause harm.
For example, if someone became addicted to OxyContin after undergoing extensive orthopedic surgery, and a healthcare provider continued to prescribe this pain medication despite his or her knowledge of the patient's addiction, that healthcare provider should be considered at fault if the patient becomes injured or dies. Overdoses occur on a daily basis, and this is one of the biggest problems associated with pill mills across the state of Florida and throughout the entire United States.
Pill Mills and Medical Malpractice
Medical malpractice/negligence isn't just the act of harming someone during a surgery, or misdiagnosing a disease. It can also occur when a physician is prescribing pain medication to addicted individuals in violation of state and federal law. In addition to criminal penalties, these healthcare providers should be held liable for causing any injuries or deaths that result from their conduct.
The reason such physicians can be held responsible for any resulting injuries is because by prescribing outside of what is allowed under the law, these physicians have not acted in accordance with the standard of care they are supposed to follow in terms of prescribing practices. Knowingly prescribing and/or dispensing pain medication to addicted patients in the way pill mills do is a conscious act that could mean life or death. Any physician that moves forward in prescribing or dispensing pain medication to addicted individuals should be held accountable for their actions.
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