Bay area doctor pleads guilty in pill mill case - WFLA News Channel 8

Bay area doctor pleads guilty in pill mill case

Posted: Updated:
MANATEE COUNTY, FL (WFLA) -

A Bay area doctor is pleading guilty to federal charges in a drug case.

U.S. Attorney Lee Bentley says Dr. John Lanning, 79, of Anna Maria, Florida faces a maximum of 20 years in a federal prison.

According to the plea agreement Lanning was working at the 1910 Medical Clinic on Manatee Avenue, and would see 20 to 30 patients a day.

The U.S. Attorney says undercover detectives went in to the clinic, and were prescribed powerful pain medications after a "cursory" examination.

Dr. Lanning has admitted to federal authorities the pain medications were not prescribed for legitimate medical purposes.

In 2011, Florida enacted a new law against pill mill operations. Since then, the number of deaths has decreased from pain medication overdoses.

A study by the Workers Compensation Research Institute shows physicians are prescribing fewer pain medications as a result of the law.

Dr. Alfred Aleguas with the Florida Poison Information Center in Tampa says prescription pain medication overdoses are decreasing.

"For prescription pain medication the numbers seemed to have dropped,” said Dr. Aleguas.

However, overdoses from a familiar and dangerous illegal drug are on the rise.

"They may be turning to heroin or other illicits, but heroin in particular,” said Dr. Aleguas.

Copyright 2014 WFLA. All rights reserved.



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