Pill Mills part 1
When I came to Fort Lauderdale in 2000 I was the first fellowship trained physiatrist in the county. There were about seven other physicians in five locations who were practicing different aspects of management in the area; we all knew who each other were and shared a variety of patients. Over the next seven years this number ebbed and flowed but never exceeded 10-12 legitimate practitioners. Starting in 2007 I began to notice an increase of Clinic signs throughout the county and at last count there were 122 Clinics registered in the county.
Many of these clinics Pill Mills are not owned by physicians, and the employed physicians have no formal training in Management. Many are retired physicians who have come out of retirement to make some extra money. These clinics are generally treating patients with pills only, and sometimes extremely high doses of dangerous medications. This has resulted in disastrous results.
There are as of last count 10.4 patients dying per day due to prescription drug overdose. I dare to say if 10 manatees died per day there would be an uproar in the media. The percentage of overdose deaths in Broward County are 80% prescription drugs and 20% heroine. The ratios are reversed in Dade and Palm Beach counties.
Next Blog—What is being done to fix this