“Doctor shopping” refers to a patient requesting controlled substances from multiple physicians, often simultaneously, without making efforts to inform the other physicians of the multiple prescriptions. According to a 2013 study published in the journal PLoS One, one of every 50 prescriptions for addictive prescription painkillers in the United States is filled for so-called “doctor shoppers” who obtain the drugs for recreational use or resale on the street.
During the early 2000s, Florida was the nation’s center of the illegal sale of prescription drugs. In 2010 doctors here bought 89 percent of all the Oxycodone sold in the country last year. Thousands migrated to Florida to buy drugs at more 1,000 pain clinics that the state earned the nickname “Oxy Express.” During 2003–2009, the number of deaths caused by drug overdose in Florida increased 61 percent.
In 2011 Florida strengthened its prescribing laws and stepped-up enforcement of existing laws. In an effort to limit the number of people who go to multiple doctors to obtain prescriptions for the same type of pain medication, Florida law enforcement has begun enforcing a 2003 statute, Florida Statute § 893.13(7)(a)8, that makes it a felony for a person to go to more than one doctor to obtain identical medication before a refill is allowed for the first prescription. The strategy seems to be working. Prescription drug overdose deaths from 2010-2012 fell 23 percent.
Arrest for either “doctor shopping” or any drug offense is a very serious in Florida with severe legal and personal consequences. If you have been charged, it is imperative that you hire legal representation that will aggressively and effectively handle every aspect of your criminal defense. The attorneys at Bauer, Crider, and Parry, have provided residents of the Tampa area with over 30 years of strong criminal defense, stronger results.