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Florida narcotic crackdowns leave patients without medication

Imagine that you suffer from a condition that leaves you in excruciating pain on a regular basis. Now imagine that you were not able to get any medication for it -- even though your doctor prescribed it.

This may seem like an unlikely scenario, but it is exactly what is happening to people throughout Florida. Why? Because a federal crackdown on narcotics has left pharmacists so little access to certain medications that they can't fill prescriptions for patients who have a legitimate medical need.

With the rise of so-called pill mills and the illegal sale and use of narcotics in Florida, the Drug Enforcement Administration has taken action to make it increasingly difficult to obtain narcotics -- even if you have a true need for them. While narcotics have a higher potential for abuse than some other substances, stories of patients unable to fill their prescriptions show that the crime-prevention efforts may have gone too far.

Not only are pharmacies expected to restrict the amount of narcotics they are distributing, they are also being trained to detect and turn away people they believe are attempting to obtain the drugs illegally. Sadly, this has led to some patients being treated as criminals.

This situation seems harmful for many involved. Pharmacists are afraid to give out too many narcotics in fear that the DEA will accuse them of conducting illegal activity, and patients cannot get the medication they desperately need.

What do you think about this situation? Has the crackdown on narcotics gotten out of hand?

Source: PBS, "Patients say they can't get medicine after crackdown on illegal Rx drugs," Rachel Gotbaum, Aug. 5, 2015

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