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News Clips 11/21/2012
UCF professor awarded $250,000 National Institute of Justice grant
Source: Orlando Business Journal, 11/20/12
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By Cindy Barth
University of Central Florida criminal justice assistant professor Jacinta Gau was awarded a $250,000 grant from the National Institute of Justice to determine whether a lengthy law approved in 2011 to stop pill mills in Florida is really working.
The state created the law because too many people were using prescribed narcotics for nonmedical or recreational purposes. At the peak of the epidemic, seven people died each day in Florida from deaths related to prescription drugs.
“I think there’s this misinterpretation that because these drugs are made in clean facilities, unlike street drugs, that they are safe,” Gau said. “There’s a reason why these drugs like oxycodone are monitored. They are quite dangerous even when given for legitimate reasons.”
Gau’s team will analyze the law’s impact at three levels: wholesale distributors, pharmacies and individual physicians and pharmacists. The aspects of the law that will get the most attention are new reporting requirements pertaining to the distribution and dispensing of psychoactive prescription drugs; new and improved regulations for pharmacies that seek first-time or renewed licenses for operation; a ban on physician dispensing of PPDs; and a new standard of care to which physicians are held when prescribing psychoactive prescription drugs, and penalties for violations of that standard.
Gau joined UCF in 2011.