Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Protesters seek stronger action against doctors who overprescribe painkillers

TAMPA — Waving signs blasting "crooked doctors," a group of parents and worried citizens rallied Friday to stop prescription drug abuse, accusing the Florida Board of Medicine of "giving doctors license to kill."

They took their message to a meeting of the usually low-profile board, which disciplines doctors accused of overprescribing the painkillers. Prescription narcotics kill an average of more than seven Floridians a day.

About 15 people, mostly from South Florida, picketed outside the board meeting at Tampa's Wyndham Hotel on West Shore Boulevard. Many had lost children to drug overdoses or have watched loved ones become addicted to narcotics, prescribed by a physician or obtained illegally.

"My goal is to try to stop this from happening to someone else," said Jim Quinlan, 56, of Clearwater, whose 22-year-old son overdosed and died in 2007 after battling a prescription drug addiction.

The protest, organized by the Fort Lauderdale-based STOPP Now (Stop the Organized Pill Pushers Now), received supportive honks from people driving by.

Donald Mullins, a businessman who serves on the Board of Medicine, briefly spoke with the protesters. He wanted them to understand that the board can act only after doctors' cases have been investigated by state health officials.

A new state law places stricter regulations on doctors, including increased penalties for overprescribing oxycodone and other narcotics.

"We're on their side," Mullins said about the pickets. "We want to address the issues."

The group sought to address the board directly, but did not get on the agenda in time.

Letitia Stein may be reached at lstein@sptimes.com.

Protesters seek stronger action against doctors who overprescribe painkillers 09/30/11 [Last modified: Friday, September 30, 2011 11:37pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Super Nintendo is coming back to stores, and there's even a new (old) game

    Blogs

    If the overwhelming success of last year's NES Classic is any indication, you may want to get your hands on Nintendo's newly-announced Super NES Classic as soon as it becomes available this fall.

    Super Nintendo plans to release the Super NES Classic Edition.
  2. Rays appear close to landing Marlins shortstop Hechavarria

    Blogs

    Hechavarria is a two-time Gold Glove finalist who could help settle the Rays sometimes leaky infield defense.

    Adeiny Hechavarria is a two-time Gold Glove finalist who could help settle the Rays sometimes leaky infield defense.
  3. What to watch this week: Catch these titles before they leave Netflix in July

    Blogs

    It's been less than a week since summer officially started, and I don't know about you, but I'm more than ready for cooler weather to get here. It's too hot outside to function (looking at you, 116 degree Arizona), but Netflix has us covered with a boatload of new TV shows and movies coming in July. Unfortunately, that …

    Michael Keaton as the Dark Knight in 1989's Batman.
  4. Do you need to vote in city elections to run for mayor of St. Pete? Jesse Nevel says no

    Blogs

    Jesse Nevel is running for mayor. But, voting records show, he has never cast a ballot in a St. Petersburg city election.

    Jesse Nevel is running for mayor, but has never voted in a city election
  5. St. Petersburg man arrested for breaking into 12 homes being tented for termites

    Crime

    ST. PETERSBURG — A 36-year-old former pest control worker was arrested for burglarizing 12 homes over the last five weeks, according to St. Petersburg police.

    David Cooper, 26, was arrested for breaking into 12 homes tented for termites over five weeks, according to St. Petersburg Police. [Photo courtesy of Pinellas County Sheriff's Office]