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14 Florida Physicians Indicted in 'Pill Mill' Bust

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WhiteTara Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 09:20 AM
Original message
14 Florida Physicians Indicted in 'Pill Mill' Bust

August 30, 2011 Fourteen physicians in southern Florida have been indicted as members of what one agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation calls "the nation's largest criminal organization" involved in illegally distributing opioid analgesics such as oxycodone.


The 14 physicians worked in 4 pain management clinics that the federal indictment, which was made public August 23, depicts as set pieces in a gangster movie. Drug addicts and drug traffickers, most from out-of-state, packed the waiting rooms, and if they were not fighting each other, they were having drug-induced seizures. Security guards tried to maintain order. Opioid analgesics were dispensed and prescribed on an assembly line basis, and were paid for with cash and credit cards. Clinic employees hauled their money to the bank in large garbage bags. During a 2-year period, the clinics raked in more than $40 million from illegal drug sales, a federal grand jury stated.

The physicians prospered in the process, according to the indictment. The owners of the clinics paid most of them according to how many patients they saw, which ranged between 40 and 100 patients per day. The average physician earned more than $1 million a year this way.

The indictment states that the physicians prescribed opioid analgesics without a basis in medical necessity, but engaged in subterfuges to make it look otherwise. Before their visits, for example, patients were routinely directed to a mobile magnetic resonance imaging facility that operated 7 days a week past midnight in a strip club parking lot.

The clinic owners were careful to recruit physicians who supported their business plan, the indictment states. Applicants did not need any experience in pain management, only a willingness to write scripts every 10 minutes. During employment interviews, "the physicians were asked whether they would agree to prescribe large quantities of oxycodone, Xanax, and other controlled substances."
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MrScorpio Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 09:21 AM
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1. Color me surprised
Those guys operated with impunity for years
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cutlassmama Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 09:25 AM
Response to Original message
2. this only further alienates patients and doctors who truly need these
medications for quality of life issues. With all the regulation of pain clinics this has to be a rare occurrence, but much will be made of it from the media, only furthering the difficulties of those patients who truly need help. It's a shame that these greedy people don't care about how their actions affect others.
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melm00se Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 09:38 AM
Response to Reply #2
4. my brother lives in Tampa
and he claimed that with $150 and a 10 minute drive, he could pick up a scrip from a pill mill for Oxycontin.

he says these places work like this:

you see a doc, usually an out of state doc who has retired down there, he writes the scrip, you walk out the door, go next door to the pharmacy that's affiliated with the clinic and you get it filled.

My father, the doctor, called bullshit claiming that his DEA # was only valid in his state of licensure yada yada yada so we went for a drive. We pretended we were cops and sat across from a clinic having coffee and donuts and watched, in the matter of 30 minutes no less than 20 people walk into the clinic and do exactly as my brother described: in/out/pharmacy next door and down the road.

Obviously we had no direct proof that they picked up oxy but the sign said "pain clinic" and "walk ins welcome" so I doubt they were there for their cholesterol pills.

My brother claimed that these docs could pull down $150K in 90 days (about how long it takes the state to shut them down), all in cash and that's a nice little boost to one's retirement fund.

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lpbk2713 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 09:32 AM
Response to Original message
3. This ought to put Limbaugh in a state of panic.

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WhiteTara Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 09:50 AM
Response to Reply #3
5. OMG Next time put a warning on that!
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zazen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 10:12 AM
Response to Original message
6. the Knoxville pill-mill tried to sue a local HOA for defamation
simply because said HOA published in its newsletter a report quoting the police captain who met with the HOA about concerns about the new pill clinic across the street.

The clinic managed to tie the HOA up in litigation for over a year. No one could sell their houses. They HOA board was "liable" for around $20 million.

I may even be violating something for discussing it here, but I'm not naming names.

Those people are motherfucking monsters. How you'd go through med school for that many years and come out with such an agenda is sociopathological.
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