MANATEE — A controversial pain clinic that spurred county commissioners to enact a moratorium on such clinics in Manatee has filed paperwork seeking to register under the recently adopted ordinance.
Fifteen clinics applied for permits by the July 8 deadline, including 1910 Medical Clinic in Ellenton. Last month, Manatee commissioners unanimously adopted the emergency ordinance to ban the opening of new pain clinics in the county for 180 days. It will expire Oct. 1 when new state laws are projected to put tighter limitations on so-called “pills mills” across the state.
The ordinance also dealt with existing pain clinics in Manatee by requiring the businesses to register with the county for a permit to operate. If the county denies a clinic a permit, or if a clinic operates without one, it can mean fines and possible arrest for owners if they continue to remain open.
1910 Medical first appeared on Manatee Avenue in the City of Bradenton causing protestors to picket in front the clinic calling it a “pill mill.” In the clinic, patients pay cash for an appointment with a doctor, and after showing an MRI and undergoing an examination they can receive prescriptions for powerful pain pills such as oxycodone.
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The clinic’s owner, Warren K. Gold, then moved his business to a strip center in Ellenton, at the entrance of the Plantation Bay neighborhood, on U.S. 301, just north of Haben Boulevard.
A permit was filed on behalf of 1910 Medical with the county on the last day applications for a permit were required to be postmarked, according to Manatee Neighborhood Services Director Cheri Coryea.
Now 1910, as well as all other clinic owners who have applied, will be subject to inspections next week, Coryea said. Once those inspections are complete, Coryea will decide whether applicants have met the standards for a permit. By next Friday, all the applications will have been reviewed and clinic owners will be advised of results, Coryea said. If clinics are denied a permit, they have 15 days to appeal.
After the application reviews are complete, county code enforcement officials will begin a search for clinics that have not applied for a permit under the ordinance.
“We will giving them a courtesy notice that we did not receive an application from them before any action is taken,” Coryea said.