The problem with illicit painkillers is decreasing in Tampa Bay, but until all the shady doctors and unscrupulous pain clinics are stopped, needless patient injuries and deaths will continue. State laws and Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) efforts have helped to decrease the sale of oxycodone, one of the most notorious narcotics. In 2010, 46 million pills for oxycodone were sold, whereas enforcement efforts cut this down to 1.2 million in 2011, the DEA reported. The top 90 oxycodone-buying doctors practiced in the state in 2010. Now only 13 Tampa doctors are on this list, according to the DEA.
The law enforcement strategy has been successful in tandem with the state’s online database to track prescriptions for controlled substances (PDMP) such as OxyContin, Vicodin, Xanax, Valium, and other schedule II, III, and IV drugs. More than 28 million prescription records have been uploaded to the database since it began last fall, the latest Florida Department of Health report showed. Health care practitioners and pharmacies – including Internet and mail- order operations – should be checking the database to see if a patient is trying to get multiple prescriptions for the same drug or is doctor shopping.
Medical professionals who do not conduct adequate medical screenings nor check with the PDMP can be liable for patient harm. Overdose deaths, sales of prescription drugs for illicit uses, and substance abuse could have been prevented if it were not for the physician or pharmacist’s carelessness or quest for more money. Before the drug enforcement efforts kicked into action it was not rare for a pain clinic to prescribe 240 pills to a patient – well beyond any reasonable amount for any person to have. State law enforcement have seized 500,000 pills from shady clinics and pharmacies during the last 11 months. To learn more about how we can help represent you in a Tampa personal injury case or a Tampa wrongful death case, visit our Practice Areas.