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Pill mill ups and downs


Everywhere one looks lately measures are underway to reduce the prescribing of opioids or highly addictive narcotic pain pills to workers compensation claimants and the public in general.

Lansing, Mich.-based Accident Fund Holdings Inc., for example, announced this week that it launched a narcotics program “to protect injured workers from drugs used to manage chronic pain.”

That's among the latest efforts to combat the problem in the work comp world.

There is also progress outside the comp system, but going after some opioid dealers reminds one of squeezing a water balloon.

Reports say a crackdown on Florida's notorious pill-mill operations is paying off, leading to a 97% decrease in oxycodone medications prescribed by doctors in the state. That has happened because of Drug Administration Agency enforcement -including recently raiding two CVS pharmacies that ordered 20 times the national average for oxycodone pills- and a law adopted last year that among other measures increased monitoring prescribing and penalties.

But now Florida's pill mill operators are leaving that state and setting up shop in other jurisdictions such as Kentucky and Georgia.