A year after stepped-up enforcement began, Florida’s “pill mill” problem has diminished but evolved, reports the Wall Street Journal. Drug users and dealers have adapted to the changing landscape, and pill demand has shifted to retail pharmacies and other establishments that appear to have been set up to skirt the new restrictions.
Pharmacists find themselves on the front lines of the pain-pill fight. Pharmacies are struggling to deal with the influx of customers who used to rely on pain clinics to get controlled drugs, said Michael Jackson, chief executive of the Florida Pharmacy Association. The onus is on them to determine whether prescriptions are fraudulent or unnecessary—a difficult task given the lack of uniform guidelines on how pharmacists are supposed to evaluate prescriptions. “You have to rely on a pharmacist’s intuition,” said Jackson. “This is not a perfect science.”