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Loopholes Allow 'Anti-Aging' Clinics to Sell Steroids

The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

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.

Carol Gentry, founder and special correspondent of Health News Florida, has four decades of experience covering health finance and policy, with an emphasis on consumer education and protection.