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Medical News & Perspectives |

CDC: Major Disparities in Opioid Prescribing Among States:  Some States Crack Down on Excess Prescribing

Bridget M. Kuehn, MSJ
JAMA. 2014;312(7):684-686. doi:10.1001/jama.2014.9253.
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The first few months of 2010 marked a dramatic turn in Florida’s efforts to curb rampant “pill mills,” clinics that inappropriately prescribe large quantities of opioids for nonmedical reasons. The state required all pain clinics within its borders to register no later than January 2010. In that year, federal, state, and local law enforcement began a major crackdown, called Operation Pill Nation.

By February 2011, undercover officers had made 340 purchases of medication from 60 physicians at more than 40 pain clinics without showing evidence of a valid medical complaint, according to the US Drug Enforcement Administration. Ultimately, officials arrested 22 people and seized $2.2 million in cash as well as 70 vehicles (http://1.usa.gov/1qnV9UV).

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Many southern states have disproportionately high rates of opioid painkiller prescribing.

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