Tallahassee, Florida – Florida used to be known as the Oxy-Express because it was so easy to get powerful pain medications from many pain clinics here, often called pill mills.
So Florida launched a crackdown on pill mills last year. Police arrested hundreds of people including doctors, who were improperly prescribing prescription drugs such as Oxycodone.
But now that crackdown has gone too far, according to a group of protesters who rallied outside the state Capitol on Wednesday.
They say fewer doctors and pharmacies are filling prescriptions for pain medications so now it’s hard for legitimate patients to get the prescription drugs they need to cope with chronic, severe pain.
They held up signs that read, “Stop the Pain” and “Ease the suffering of legitimate pain patients.”
Donna Ratcliff is leading a group called the Fight for Pain Care Action Network. She hopes future state leaders will focus on the issue.
“It went overboard with the pill mills. Legitimate pain patients are suffering so we really need for them to step up and tell us is there any one of them that is gone to resolve this with a solution so we can find a way to make it more balanced for everyone.”
Earlier this year Gov. Rick Scott and Attorney General Pam Bondi celebrated the results of Florida’s crackdown on pill mills over the past year.
Scott said drug strike force teams had removed a half million pills from the streets, made more than 2,000 arrests and helped Florida become a role model for the nation against prescription drug abuse.