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Health News Florida

Loopholes Allow 'Anti-Aging' Clinics to Sell Steroids

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Florida has become one of the nation's top sources for illegal sales of steroids and unsafe sales of growth hormones because of a couple of loopholes in state laws, as Scott Hiaasen of The Miami Herald reports. 

The loopholes are similar to the ones that led to the boom in pill-mills for addictive painkillers, which proliferated until the Legislature started plugging the gaps a couple of years ago.

The gaps take advantage of the split jurisdiction over physicians and clinics:

--The Department of Health has jurisdiction over physicians, but has not aggressively pursued cases involving sales of steroids and growth hormones. Also, the clinics are often owned by non-physicians, who hire doctors to write the prescriptions.

--The Agency for Health Care Administration has jurisdiction over clinics, but only those that accept insurance. The "anti-aging" and "wellness" clinics that are selling the drugs are usually cash-only.

As the Herald reports, this booming business came to light only when the Drug Enforcement Agency began investigating a Miami clinic that allegedly supplied steroids and other drugs to Major League Baseball players and other athletes.