Pill mills are spreading throughout Florida at a staggering rate. Just this week, the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office concluded a nine-month investigation into a pill mill that resulted in 53 arrests. As Attorney General, I will continue to aggressively tackle this issue, and we need to provide regulators and law enforcement with the tools necessary to take immediate action against pill mills.
On Tuesday, I testified before the Senate Health Regulation Committee regarding Senate Bill 818, sponsored by Senator Fasano, encouraging them to support the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program and to increase criminal penalties as well as to enhance administrative and civil enforcement against doctors and pill mills. The PDMP is one program among a multi-faceted approach that would help stop pill mills in Florida. The committee unanimously supported the bill. I look forward to continuing to work with our partners in the Legislature to protect Floridians.
This week, United States Attorney Pam Marsh, of the Northern District of Florida, and I discussed the pill mill crisis. It is crucial to have a comprehensive approach to combating this problem, and we could not do so without the help of our federal, state and local partners throughout Florida. I am encouraged by our meeting and commend U.S. Attorney Marsh for her dedication to the safety of Floridians and her willingness to assist in the eradication of Florida's pill mills.
In closing, we have all had the heartbreaking experience of following the news reports of the tragedy in Japan last week. My thoughts and prayers are with the people in Japan as they struggle to find refuge in the wake of this disaster. There are numerous organizations offering relief and aid to the citizens of Japan, and I encourage Floridians to contribute to these relief efforts by finding a legitimate charitable organization and making donations.