Office of National Drug Control Policy

ONDCP Excel Twenty-Eighth Row

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Action Item Name: 
Crack Down on Rogue Pain Clinics That Do Not Follow Appropriate Prescription Practices
Action Item Description: 

Through enforcement actions and the Ryan Haight Act, many of the domestic illegal Internet pharmacies identified through DEA-led investigations have been shut down.

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What has emerged, however, is the proliferation of establishments involved with pain management outside the scope of acceptable medical practices. Currently, these “rogue pain clinics” are now a major source of controlled substance pharmaceuticals for drug seekers. Although pain clinics are operating throughout the United States, DEA has identified three major hubs where these illegal schemes are flourishing: the Houston, TX, area; the Los Angeles, CA, area; and, most significantly, the tri-county area of South Florida (Palm Beach, Broward, and Miami-Dade counties). The vast majority of patients that visit these clinics come from out of state. The opiate-based pharmaceutical controlled substances most frequently illegally dispensed at the clinics in the Texas and California regions is a combination of hydrocodone and alprazolam (Xanax®). In the South Florida region, oxycodone products are most frequently dispensed. DEA, in coordination with other Federal, State, and local agencies, will investigate these rogue clinics through expanded Tactical Diversion Squads and will shut down, via administrative actions, those DEA registrants in violation of safe prescribing practices.

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