Pain Clinic Zoning Ordinance Passed in South Florida Town

May 10, 2011, the Miami Lakes, Florida council passed a zoning ordinance requiring pain clinics in its town to obtain a special permit. A pain clinic’s grand opening advertisement featuring the words “pain” and “opiates” put a Miami Lakes councilman in fear of potential pill-mill activity coming to town and prompted the council’s efforts to pass the ordinance.

The fear is not completely ungrounded. South Florida has been called the “national epicenter” of the funneling of illegal prescription drugs, and law enforcement officials’ recent raids have targeted the area. Broward County, located only a few miles from Miami Lakes, in particular has significantly contributed to the nation’s pill-mill problem.

The Miami Lakes zoning ordinance would allow the town two to three months to review a pain clinic’s application. The ordinance also prohibits anyone operating or owning a pharmacy in town from running a pain clinic, requires special zoning approval to establish a new pain clinic within 500 feet of another clinic, and requires all current town medical offices, labs, and clinics to register with the town and provide detailed information within six months.

The existence of some pain mills places all pain physicians under greater scrutiny. As such, it is vital for well-intentioned pain management physicians to proactively protect themselves.

For more information, please visit THE HEALTH LAW PARTNERS’ Anesthesia and Pain specialty page or contact Abby Pendleton, Esq. or Jessica L. Gustafson, Esq. or for more information on how to avoid licensing and other enforcement activity related to pain management, please contact Robert S. Iwrey, Esq. at (248) 996-8510 or (212) 734-0128, or visit the HLP website.

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