Prescription drug use and the proliferation of pain management clinics in the state of Florida received extensive press coverage. Often pain management clinics become “pill mills” which often have adverse impacts on communities. On August 3, 2011, the City Commission approved a moratorium on the opening of pain clinics and directed City staff review a potential ordinance regulating the operations and locations of future pain clinics. Several other Broward cities adopted ordinances related to locating pain clinics away from drug stores, pharmacies, places of worship, schools and day care centers in order to prevent the creation of “pill mills.” The City of West Park adopted its own ordinance on February 1, 2011 to regulate the location and operations of pain clinics.
The ordinance specifies where pain clinics can be located. It states that a drug store or retail pharmacy cannot be located within the same shopping center or within a thousand feet of any pain management clinic. Additionally, no pain management clinic can be located within:
• One thousand feet of another pain management clinic.
• The same shopping center or within one thousand feet of any drug store or retail pharmacy.
• One thousand feet of a place of worship, child care center, educational center or school.
The ordinance also puts additional requirements on a pain clinic’s Certificate of Use. equired for all businesses operating in the City which states that the use of building is consistent with the City’s code. Any pain clinic applying for a Certificate of Use in the City of West Park must provide the following:
• An anual update of owners and operators of the facility.
• Provide proof of registration with the Florida Department of Health and the professional license number of the medical director including the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) number.
• An affidavit by the medical director stating that no employee of the business has been convicted or has pled guilty to a felony in Florida or in any other state involving the prescribing, dispensing, supplying, selling or possession of any controlled substance.
• The pain management clinic shall be fully owned by a physician or a group of physicians each of whom are Florida licensed physicians in good standing.
• Monthly update of clinic management staff including name and title, current home address, telephone numbers and date of birth, current Florida driver’s license and all drug-related criminal convictions.
The pain management clinic is prohibited from having an obn-site prescription drug dispensary for the most addictive controlled substances.
The ordinances reflects the City’s desire to ensure the safety of West Park residents, schools, and community facilities. A safe community is also a better place for existing and future businesses.