Attorney General's Weekly Newsletter
Volume 9, Issue 62 • March 16, 2012

More than one year ago, Florida was given the notorious title of “pill mill capital of the nation.” With more than seven Floridians dying from prescription drug overdoses per day, I knew we needed to take swift action to save lives. Since taking office, we have worked with state leaders, law enforcement, health care professionals, and others to address this crisis.

On Wednesday, I joined Governor Scott, Florida Department of Law Enforcement Commissioner Bailey, and Department of Health Interim Surgeon General Dr. Harris to announce the progress Florida has made over the past year in fighting Florida’s prescription drug epidemic. The collaborative efforts on the local, state, and federal levels have had a tremendous impact on the fight against prescription drug abuse. Florida has gone from being the epicenter of the crisis to becoming a national model. The latest statistics on prescription drug abuse in Florida show the progress we are making.

In March 2011, there were 854 registered pain clinics in Florida, and today there are about 500 registered pain clinics, and the number is dropping steadily. In the last 12 months, more than 2,000 arrests have been made, including 34 doctors. Out of the top 100 prescribers of oxycodone nationwide, Florida has 11 who made the list - down from 98 in 2010. The 2011 Interim Drugs Identified in Decreased Persons Report shows the number of prescription deaths fell almost eight percent from the 2010 report.

While we have made significant strides in this fight, we are not done. This legislative session I worked closely with Senator Joe Negron and Representative Kelli Stargel on a bill to create a Statewide Task Force on Prescription Drug Abuse and Newborns. The bill passed unanimously and will examine the scope of the problem, the costs associated with caring for babies with neonatal withdrawal syndrome, the long-term effects of the syndrome, and strategies for preventing prescription drug abuse by expectant mothers.

It is great to share that all of our efforts have had a significant impact in this battle, and we will remain dedicated to stopping prescription drug abuse in Florida.

In the News
Reuters - Insight: Behind the healthcare-law case: The challengers' tale
Naples News - Gov. Scott: Task force denting pill mill business
WTSP - Florida goes from "Oxy-Express" to anti-prescription drug abuse leader
Politico - Feds' power grab must be stopped

Protecting Floridians
Attorney General Bondi Recognizes Sunshine Week
Florida has some of the broadest public records laws in the nation, and the Attorney General’s Office supports and provides guidance on these important laws. Click here to read more.


Events
*Revised Committee of 100 of Orange County

On Thursday, Attorney General Bondi spoke to members of the Committee of 100 of Orange County, who promote business development and economic growth.

Argus Foundation

Attorney General Bondi spoke to members of the Argus Foundation on Friday. The Argus Foundation, located in Sarasota, consists of community leaders who work to promote the well-being of their community.