Lt. Gov. Dan Mongiardo's Communications Office
Lt. Governor Mongiardo’s Fight Against the Pill Pipeline Hits National Airwaves

Press Release Date:  Thursday, October 15, 2009  
Contact Information:  Valeria Cummings Swope

"The OxyContin Express" highlights addictions between Kentucky and Florida

FRANKFORT, Ky. – A bustling pill pipeline that stretches from Broward County, Fla. to the hills of Appalachia hit the airwaves this week in a special documentary entitled "The OxyContin Express."  The one-hour special is the premiere episode of the new season of "Vanguard" on Current TV.  It features interviews with doctors, law enforcement officials in Kentucky and Florida and an interview with Lt. Governor Daniel Mongiardo who has fought diligently for Florida to create an electronic prescription drug monitoring system to track the dispensing of controlled substances in that state.

Lt. Gov. Mongiardo has spoken with Florida legislators, the director of Florida’s Office of Drug Control, and most recently testified before a Florida grand jury, about what Kentucky has done to cut down on prescription drug abuse.  He also urged Florida’s Governor to sign into law legislation that would help stop the flow of prescription drugs into the Commonwealth.

“People that want to make money down in Florida realized that they can make money because there was no narcotic tracking system,” said Lt. Gov. Mongiardo. “It’s basically come here, give us cash, we’ll give you a prescription.  Pablo Escobar couldn’t have had it any better.”

Correspondent Mariana van Zeller said it was her goal to shine a light on the growing epidemic.  “In the U.S. more people are now abusing prescription drugs than heroin, cocaine and ecstasy combined,” said van Zeller.  “So we went to ground zero of the epidemic, South Florida, the “Colombia of prescription drugs.”

 “It’s a racket,” said Florida Rep. Kelly Skidmore.  “You have to pay cash to be seen.  You have to pay cash for your prescriptions.  You have to pay cash for them to make an MRI for you.  Once you know what the game is, it’s on.”

This past June, Florida Gov. Charlie Crist signed a measure that will significantly reduce the illegal prescription drug pipeline between Florida and Kentucky.  Lt. Gov. Mongiardo applauded that move calling it “a positive step toward stopping a drug epidemic in its tracks and moving the nation one step closer toward a national prescription drug monitoring program.”

You can learn more about the pill epidemic and see the premiere episode of "The OxyContin Express" at