Law Enforcement, Legislature Consider Action Against Illegal Pharmacies
The Los Angeles Times today examines the "significant danger" posed by "backroom clinics" in Orange County, which "peddl[e] drugs that are sometimes illegally manufactured or whose expiration dates have passed." Low-income residents, often immigrants, frequently use the clinics as a source of inexpensive medications that can be obtained without a doctor's prescription. In the past three years, several children have died from treatments obtained at illegal pharmacies, prompting the county district attorney's office and the Department of Health Services to launch a yearlong investigation. Authorities are expected to file charges this week against some businesses. In addition, Assembly member Ken Maddox (R-Garden Grove) has introduced a bill that would increase from a misdemeanor to a felony the penalty against people found operating illegal clinics. "We give people harsher sentences for drunk driving and other crimes than what we give people playing doctor in the back of a liquor store," Maddox said, adding, "It's just another way to exploit the poor, [who] most often tend to be immigrants." The bill is currently being considered by an Assembly committee (Yoshino/Leonard, Los Angeles Times, 7/9).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.