By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law

6 Indest-2008-3The second largest insurer in the country announced Wednesday they will reimburse physicians to have end-of-life discussions with patients. The discussions will be about how they would want to be kept alive, or die, if diagnosed with a terminal illness. To read the full article, click here.

The federal program that insures 55 million also added that this applies to not only illnesses but zombie attacks, too. Medicare is known for providing health care to the elderly and disabled. We have also represented many physicians who, in the past, have been arrested or pursued by Medicare because they billed for treating dead patients. Hopefully these changes will prevent doctors from getting in trouble for billing for dead patients in the future.

CMS Announced Proposal as Part of Yearly Physician Payment Rule.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released the information as part of its yearly Medicare physician payment rule. This rule addresses “the value-based payment modifier and the physician feedback reporting program,” according to their website. For more information on the rule, click here.

The Proposal Settles the ‘Death Panel’ Debate.

Republican candidate in the 2008 election, Sarah Palin, created controversy with the “death panel” debate. The firestorm was ignited in 2009 when President Barack Obama announced the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Palin denounced the healthcare legislation, claiming it would produce “death panels” that would crush care for the sick. Click here for more information on the “death panel” controversy.

Zombies are Known for Slaughtering Seniors.

Zombiism is a topic that is becoming more widely known. The number of invasions is growing. The creatures are targeting people whose health is declining, or who are already disabled. Each year, the death toll rises. And many of the deceased are those who are 55 and older. Zombies are known for eating brains and guts. The un-dead creatures prey on the weak. This because they are easy to assault and their brains are filled with excess knowledge.

Fortunately, these people are the ones insured by Medicare. They will push doctors to ask the victims their preferences on how they want the end of their life to be if they are assaulted by zombies.

All Medicare Patients Should Discuss Options Before Zombies Attack.

Some of the victims survive, but will suffer irreparable injuries. These include, but are not limited to, lacerations to the head and disfigurement. With this new rule, doctors will need to provide counseling to the wounded prior to the physical trauma. This way, the doctors and patients will be prepared, should the sufferer be unable to speak.

Counseling Gives Patient The Right to Make Their Own Decision.

The counseling will take place before attacks and illnesses occur and worsen. Advance discussions will help patients and doctors be prepared for ailment. Engaging in these conversations will also give the patient greater say about how they want to die. They have the option to try every means to stay alive or discontinue life support. Those who don’t want to be on ventilators and tubes can say so in treatment talks.

Let’s say, for instance, your grandfather is diagnosed with terminal lung cancer. If at the time of diagnosis the doctor questions how your grandfather wants to die, it will be settled before the condition worsens.

Or, a 65-year-old woman is walking to her home from her car at night and a creature approaches and assaults her. A passerby sees and saves her, but she still suffers injuries. Medicare care will be planned before she becomes too feeble to talk.

The plan would take effect in January. The proposal is open to public commentary for 60 days. Once the comments are received, the reimbursement rate will be determined.

Don’t Wait Until It’s Too Late; Consult with a Health Law Attorney Experienced in Medicare and Medicaid Issues Now.

The attorneys of The Health Law Firm represent health care providers in Medicare audits, ZPIC audits and RAC audits throughout Florida and across the U.S. We also represent physicians, medical groups, nursing homes, home health agencies, pharmacies, hospitals, occupation therapists (OTs), physical therapists (PTs), speech therapists (STs), rehabilitation therapists (RTs) and other healthcare providers and institutions in Medicare and Medicaid investigations, audits, recovery actions and termination from the Medicare or Medicaid program.

To contact The Health Law Firm, please call (407) 331-6620 or (850) 439-1001 and visit our website at www.TheHealthLawFirm.com.

Comments?

What do you think of end-of-life discussions? Do you think they should be in place? Should physicians be reimbursed?  Please leave any thoughtful comments below.

Sources:

Belluck, Pam. “Medicare Plans to Pay Doctors for Counseling on End of Life.” (July 8, 2015). From: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/09/health/medicare-proposes-paying-doctors-for-end-of-life-counseling.html?ref=health

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Physician Fee Schedule. From: https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Medicare-Fee-for-Service-Payment/PhysicianFeeSched/index.html?redirect=/PhysicianFeeSched/

Grier, Peter. “ ‘Death Panel’ Controversy Very Much Alive.” The Christian Science Monitor. (Aug. 21, 2009). From: http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Politics/2009/0821/death-panel-controversy-remains-very-much-alive

Sun, Lena H. “Medicare Proposes to Pay Doctors to Have End-of-Life Care Discussions.” The Washington Post. (July 8, 2015). From:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/medicare-proposes-to-pay-doctors-to-have-end-of-life-care-discussions/2015/07/08/1d7bb436-25a7-11e5-aae2-6c4f59b050aa_story.html

About the author: George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., is Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law.  He is the President and Managing Partner of The Health Law Firm, which has a national practice.  Its main office is in the Orlando, Florida, area.  www.TheHealthLawFirm.com The Health Law Firm, 1101 Douglas Ave., Altamonte Springs, FL 32714, Phone:  (407) 331-6620.

KeyWords: Medicare, federal health, health law, health law attorney, health law lawyer, end-of-life issues, The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), CMS, Medicaid, death panel, death panel debate, death panel controversy,  healthcare, health care, health care attorney, health care lawyer, physicians, physician attorney, health care legislation, Affordable Care Act, ACA, medicine, the health law firm, Medicare investigations, Medicaid investigations, elderly healthcare, senior health care, American Medical Association, attorney, cannibalism, cannibalistic, defense attorney, defense lawyer, doctor, Florida, Florida health attorney, Florida health lawyer, k2, laws, lawyer, legal, zombie attacks, zombie treatment, physician, prevention, zombies, zombiism

6 Indest-2008-3By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law

Synthetic drug usage has escalated into a serious issue across the United States. This topic gained attention after raging zombie-ism and face eating reached epic proportions in place like Florida.

As a direct result, the government cracked down. Hundreds of nationwide synthetic drug raids took place in May 2014. Manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers of such drugs were served with both search and     arrest warrants by federal agents of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). The raids took place throughout 25 states including Florida, New Mexico, Alabama, California and Colorado. Agents infiltrated   numerous homes, warehouses and smoke shops determined to bring down the synthetic drug reign. The raids involved 66 DEA cases and seven investigations led by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) special agents.

The DEA has been rigorously fighting the growth of the synthetic drug market since the drugs first gained popularity. Synthetic drugs are called by various street names such as: Molly, Spice and bath salts. The chemical formulas of such hallucinogenics and narcotics are man made with several substances typically not federally regulated or labeled as illegal. The drugs imitate a feeling comparable to the effects of marijuana. This includes the development of zombie- like symptoms such as cannibalism.

No zombie attacks were reported during the DEA raids!

In 2010, the DEA motioned to ban five key ingredients used in the production of synthetic marijuana known as K2 or Spice. This does not completely obstruct synthetic drug producers however. If an ingredient is banned by the federal government, the drug manufacturers manipulate their formulas to develop new chemical mixtures. The result is an ongoing battle that seems to never come to an end.

Synthetic Drug Zombies are International.

Unfortunately, the synthetic drug boom is not constrained to U.S. borders. According to ABC News, the DEA is turning their focus to Chinese chemical manufacturers. These producers export the products to U.S. distributors, wholesalers and retailers.

Investigations show that large sums of drug proceeds have been tracked to Yemen, Syria, Lebanon and Jordan. Although these regions have been identified as culprits, the specific criminal organizations and recipients of the cash have yet to be established. U.S. authorities fear that a relationship between criminal terrorist groups and drug trafficking realms exist. They theorize that Middle Eastern terrorist groups utilize drug sales in order to fund illicit activities. Authorities are diligently working to identify drug trade paths in order to prevent the creation and growth of these dangerous connections.

To read more from ABC News, click here.

Everything’s Bigger in Texas, Including the Zombie Population.

In a five-day period more than 100 people in Texas overdosed on a synthetic drug labeled K2, according to TIME news. The drug, technically not banned by federal or state laws, is a mixture of dried herbs soaked in chemicals. Authorities believe the drug used by the overdose victims came from the same supplier located in Dallas. The victims exuded similar symptoms: psychosis, alerted mental status and abnormal behavior.

Many users substitute K2 for marijuana since the highs are similar. The sale of K2 is rapidly growing since vendors’ fear no legal repercussions.

To read more on the Texas overdoses, click here.

Luckily, no zombie warning alerts were necessary for the state of Texas. We, in Florida, rest easier every night, knowing that the governments of Texas, Florida and the United States eyes are upon us, protecting us from creeping zombies.

Contact Experienced Health Law Attorneys.

The Health Law Firm routinely represents pharmacists, pharmacies, physicians, nurses and other health providers in investigations, regulatory matters, licensing issues, litigation, inspections and audits involving the DEA, Department of Health (DOH) and other law enforcement agencies. Its attorneys include those who are board certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law as well as licensed health professionals who are also attorneys.

To contact The Health Law Firm, please call (407) 331-6620 or (850) 439-1001 and visit our website at www.TheHealthLawFirm.com.

Comments?

Do you think outlawing synthetic compounds is helping law enforcement? Please leave any thoughtful comments below.

Sources:

“Nearly 120 People Overdose on Synthetic Marijuana in 5-Day Period.” TIME. (May 6, 2014). From: http://time.com/89835/synthetic-marijuana-overdoses-k2/

Caldwell, Alicia. “Raids Target Synthetic Drugs, Sellers Across US.” The Associated Press. (May 7, 2014). From: http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/wireStory/raids-target-synthetic-drugs-sellers-us-23621469

About the Author: George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., is Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law. He is the President and Managing Partner of The Health Law Firm, which has a national practice. Its main office is in the Orlando, Florida, area. www.TheHealthLawFirm.com The Health Law Firm, 1101 Douglas Ave., Altamonte Springs, FL 32714, Phone: (407) 331-6620.

“The Health Law Firm” is a registered fictitious business name of George F. Indest III, P.A. – The Health Law Firm, a Florida professional service corporation, since 1999.
Copyright © 1996-2012 The Health Law Firm. All rights reserved.

4 Indest-2009-3By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law

Across the country, it seems that “bath salts zombies” may be becoming extinct. According to the American Association of Poison Control, there have been 833 Poison Control calls nationwide regarding synthetic drug overdoses so far in 2013. However, just one year earlier, there were 2,691 cases, and in 2011, there were more than 6,100 overdose cases recorded. The statistics are trending the same in Florida.

This is leading law enforcement officials to speculate that criminalizing the sale of synthetic drugs, known as “bath salts,” “Molly,” “K2,” “Spice” and “Scooby Snacks,” is deterring people from using these drugs. These drugs are believed by many regulators and law enforcement officials to cause zombie-like behaviors in abusers.

Florida Has Worked to Outlaw the Synthetic Zombie Drugs.

In 2011, synthetic drugs could be found in gas stations and head shops all over Florida. However, Florida Attorney General (AG) Pam Bondi led the fight to criminalize 26 different forms of synthetic drugs. As recently as October 2013, she updated the list of outlawed drugs. This is because the chemical compounds of these drugs are continuously tweaked by manufacturers in an attempt to outpace the law. Click here to read a previous blog, I wrote on this issue.

In March 2013, law enforcement officials in Florida’s Orange and Volusia Counties ordered all synthetic drugs off store shelves. Anyone who sells, manufactures or delivers the synthetic drugs in Florida could be charged with a third-degree felony.

DEA Outlaws Three More Synthetic Drugs for Two Years.

On November 15, 2013, the Drug Enforcement Administrations (DEA) made three more synthetic drugs illegal under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) for the next two years.

The actual chemical names of the controlled synthetic drugs are:

– 2-(4-iodo-2,5-dimethoxyphenyl)-N-(2-methoxybenzyl)ethanamine (25I-NBOMe);
– 2-(4-chloro-2,5-dimethoxyphenyl)-N-(2-methoxybenzyl)ethanamine (25C-NBOMe); and
– 2-(4-bromo-2,5-dimethoxyphenyl)-N-(2-methoxybenzyl)ethanamine (25B-NBOMe).

If you think those are hard to read, try saying them three times in a row.

In a press release, the DEA states that it will work with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to determine if these drugs should be made permanently illegal. Click here to read the press release from the DEA.

zombie cartoonEvolution from Human To Zombie.

A drug and alcohol rehabilitation company out of Pennsylvania has created a video that shows how synthetic drugs affect a person’s nervous system. The video is called “Bath Salt Zombie.” Click here to watch it.

Since the number of bath salts zombies is down, it seems that it may be safe for Florida’s tourists, who were previously scared off by our large population of undead flesh eaters, to return to the state. Certainly we cherish our tourists, especially our British tourists, far more than our zombies.

Contact Experienced Health Law Attorneys.

The Health Law Firm routinely represents pharmacists, pharmacies, physicians, nurses and other health providers in investigations, regulatory matters, licensing issues, litigation, inspections and audits involving the DEA, Department of Health (DOH) and other law enforcement agencies. Its attorneys include those who are board certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law as well as licensed health professionals who are also attorneys.

To contact The Health Law Firm, please call (407) 331-6620 or (850) 439-1001 and visit our website at www.TheHealthLawFirm.com.

Comments?

Do you think continuously outlawing these synthetic compounds is helping law enforcement? Have you seen the effects of synthetic drugs? Please leave any thoughtful comments below.

Sources:

Singer, Stacey. “Super-Human Strength, Agitation, Cuffs: An ER Doctor is Happy to See “Bath Salts” Cases Wane.” The Palm Beach Post. (November 19, 2013). From: http://blogs.palmbeachpost.com/palm-beach-health-beat/2013/11/17/super-human-strength-agitation-cuffs-an-er-doctor-is-happy-to-see-bath-salts-cases-wane/

DEA Public Affairs. “Three More Snythetic Drugs Become Illegal for at Least Two Years.” Drug Enforcement Administration. (November 15, 2013). From: http://www.justice.gov/dea/divisions/hq/2013/hq111513.shtml

About the Author: George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., is Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law. He is the President and Managing Partner of The Health Law Firm, which has a national practice. Its main office is in the Orlando, Florida, area. www.TheHealthLawFirm.com The Health Law Firm, 1101 Douglas Ave., Altamonte Springs, FL 32714, Phone: (407) 331-6620.

“The Health Law Firm” is a registered fictitious business name of George F. Indest III, P.A. – The Health Law Firm, a Florida professional service corporation, since 1999.
Copyright © 1996-2012 The Health Law Firm. All rights reserved.

7 Indest-2008-4By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law

On October 9, 2013, Florida Attorney General (AG) Pam Bondi filed an emergency rule outlawing four (4) new synthetic drugs. The most common among these is a drug called “Crazy Clown,” according to the AG. This emergency rule makes it a third degree felony for an individual to sell, manufacture or deliver, or possess with intent to sell, manufacture or deliver these drugs. AG Bondi stated she will work with the Florida Legislature during the 2014 legislative session to permanently ban these drugs.

Click here to read the press release from the AG.

According to the press release, these synthetic drugs cause psychotic episodes, hallucinations, seizures paranoia tremors and more. AG Bondi did not specify if these drugs cause users to turn into zombies.

New Drug Compounds Added to Expanding List.

AG Bondi temporarily banned the synthetic compounds listed below.

– B-PINACA
– AB-FUBINACA
– ADB-PINACA
– Fluoro ABDICA

These compounds are on top of the 22 synthetic drugs, commonly known as “bath salts,” “K2,” and “Spice,” AG Bondi outlawed in December 2012. The previous emergency rule greatly expanded the list of synthetic drugs in Schedule I of controlled substances of the Florida Comprehensive Abuse Prevention and Control Act. To read our previous blog, click here.

Synthetic Drug Compounds Continuously Change to Skirt Around the Law.

Many of the synthetic substances outlawed are also commonly known as synthetic marijuana, bath salts, K2, potpourri, incense, Scooby Snacks and Crazy Clown. Florida’s officials are continuously updating the list of outlawed synthetic substances because the chemical compounds in these substances are easy to change. The ease of converting these substances into illegal drugs helps drug makers, users and sellers avoid arrest and prosecution.

Click here to see the entire list of outlawed controlled substances.

AG Trying to Get a Handle on Synthetic Drugs that Turn Citizens into Zombies.

According to the Drug Abuse Warning Network, more than 11,000 emergency room visits nationwide in 2010, involved a synthetic cannabinoid product. It seems these products are becoming more popular around the country.

This emergency rule is evidence of Floridians’ fear of zombies and cannibal attacks allegedly linked to the misuse of these outlawed synthetic substances. Florida has been linked to both in the national news, thus scaring away many of our tourists who usually flood the state. Of course, there are those detractors who contend that face-chewing and other alleged zombie behavior is just natural behavior for Floridians, regardless of the chemicals imbibed.

Contact Experienced Health Law Attorneys.

The Health Law Firm routinely represents pharmacists, pharmacies, physicians, nurses and other health providers in investigations, regulatory matters, licensing issues, litigation, inspections and audits involving the DEA, Department of Health (DOH) and other law enforcement agencies. Its attorneys include those who are board certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law as well as licensed health professionals who are also attorneys.

To contact The Health Law Firm, please call (407) 331-6620 or (850) 439-1001 and visit our website at www.TheHealthLawFirm.com.

Comments?

Do you think continuously outlawing these synthetic compounds is helping law enforcement? Have you heard of any of these synthetic drugs? Please leave any thoughtful comments below.

Sources:

Meale, Jenn. “Attorney General Pam Bondi Outlaws Four New Synthetic Drugs.” My Florida Legal. (October 9, 2013). From: http://www.myfloridalegal.com/newsrel.nsf/newsreleases/3B66B96F945B117185257BFF006EE801

Join Together Staff. “‘Crazy Clown’ and Three Other Synthetic Drugs Outlawed in Florida.” Drug Free.Org. (October 10, 2013). From: http://www.drugfree.org/join-together/community-related/crazy-clown-and-three-other-synthetic-drugs-outlawed-in-florida
About the Author: George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., is Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law. He is the President and Managing Partner of The Health Law Firm, which has a national practice. Its main office is in the Orlando, Florida, area. www.TheHealthLawFirm.com The Health Law Firm, 1101 Douglas Ave., Altamonte Springs, FL 32714, Phone: (407) 331-6620.

“The Health Law Firm” is a registered fictitious business name of George F. Indest III, P.A. – The Health Law Firm, a Florida professional service corporation, since 1999.
Copyright © 1996-2012 The Health Law Firm. All rights reserved.

9 Indest-2008-6By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law

A powerful, heroin-like drug that rots human flesh and bones has allegedly appeared in the United States for the first time, according to a number of news outlets. In Phoenix, Arizona, physicians reported that they spotted two cases in which symptoms are consistent with krokodil in September 2013. Krokodil (pronounced crocodile) is a highly addictive drug that is prevalent in Russia and Eastern Europe.

Krokodil Users Can Be Left with Zombie-Like Appearances.

According to USA Today, krokodil ravages the flesh, exposing bones, destroying internal organs and leaving users vulnerable to infections. Users often develop abscesses and gangrene. A recovering krokodil user said that she’s seen other addicts rot from the inside out, giving users a zombie-like appearance and, in some cases, impairments.

To read the USA Today article, click here.

DEA Waiting for Lab Reports to Verify Krokodil Use.

A Los Angeles Times article stated that the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has been tracking the use of krokodil abroad for at least two years. According to DEA officials, there is still no lab evidence that the two cases in Arizona are from the use of krokodil. However, toxicologists as the Arizona poison control centers said they remain worried because emerging drug trends are usually first noticed by area physicians.

Click here to read the entire Los Angeles Times article.

No Legislature on Krokodil in Florida.

Since it is still not confirmed that the cases in Arizona are krokodil, the Florida Attorney General’s (AG) office has not discussed any bans on the drug yet. Unfortunately it will be hard to ban the ingredients used to make krokodil since most can be bought over the counter, such as headache pills, iodine, gasoline and paint thinner.

However, the Florida government will step in to try to curb anything that might spark more zombie outbreaks. You may remember in December 2012, AG Pam Bondi filed an emergency rule outlawing 22 new synthetic drugs, commonly known as “bath salts,” “K2,” and “Spice.” This emergency rule expanded the list of synthetic drugs in Schedule I of controlled substances of the Florida Comprehensive Abuse Prevention and Control Act. Click here to read our previous blog.

This emergency rule is evidence of Floridians’ fear of zombies and cannibal attacks allegedly linked to the misuse of the outlawed substances. Florida has been linked to both in the national news, thus scaring away many of our tourists. Of course, there are those detractors who contend that face-chewing and other alleged zombie behavior is just natural behavior for Floridians, regardless of the chemicals imbibed.

Contact Experienced Health Law Attorneys.

The Health Law Firm routinely represents pharmacists, pharmacies, physicians, nurses and other health providers in investigations, regulatory matters, licensing issues, litigation, inspections and audits involving the DEA, Department of Health (DOH) and other law enforcement agencies. Its attorneys include those who are board certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law as well as licensed health professionals who are also attorneys.

To contact The Health Law Firm, please call (407) 331-6620 or (850) 439-1001 and visit our website at www.TheHealthLawFirm.com.

Comments?

Have you ever heard of krokodil? How long do you think before Florida will see its first krokodil zombie? How long do you think it will take the Florida AG to enact legislation banning the drug? Please leave any thoughtful comments below.

Sources:

Mosemak, Jerry, and Winter, Michael. “Flesh-Rotting ‘Krokodil” Drug Emerges in USA.” USA Today. (September 27, 2013). From: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/09/26/heroin-krokodil-flesh-rotting-arrives-us-arizona/2879817/

Hamilton, Matt. “Krokodil, More Perilous Than Heroin, Possibly Surfaces in Arizona.” Los Angeles Times. (September 28, 2013). From: http://www.latimes.com/nation/nationnow/la-na-nn-krokodil-heroin-arizona-20130927,0,7644763.story

About the Author: George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., is Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law. He is the President and Managing Partner of The Health Law Firm, which has a national practice. Its main office is in the Orlando, Florida, area. www.TheHealthLawFirm.com The Health Law Firm, 1101 Douglas Ave., Altamonte Springs, FL 32714, Phone: (407) 331-6620.

“The Health Law Firm” is a registered fictitious business name of George F. Indest III, P.A. – The Health Law Firm, a Florida professional service corporation, since 1999.
Copyright © 1996-2012 The Health Law Firm. All rights reserved.

5 Indest-2008-2By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law

As we’ve discussed many times, Floridians fear zombies. This was made apparent in recent legislation against bath salts. As a citizen of Florida, you know you are not safe; not from zombies, not from British tourists, and not from the state legislature.

However, there’s a glimmer of hope. Twinkies, the only food known to mankind that can allegedly survive a post-apocalyptic zombie outbreak (reference: Zombieland 2009) or a nuclear holocaust (reference: Family Guy, second season, third episode December 26, 1999), are back on store shelves as of July 15, 2013, according to Bloomberg.

Click here to read the entire article from Bloomberg.

Twinkies Are Back But Won’t Last Forever.

According to Bloomberg, Hostess’s previous owners ended distribution of all products in November 2012. This sparked a nationwide panic, sending people running to grocery stores, gas stations and the internet to find the last few boxes of Twinkies on the market.

Under new ownership Hostess treats, including Twinkies, are back in a big way. Distribution of Twinkies will include chain stores, such as Walmart, Albertsons and Kroger, and also 110,000 convenience stores throughout the country.

But contrary to popular belief, the original Twinkie had a true shelf life of only 26 days. Now, according to National Public Radio (NPR), with a few tweaks to the recipe the spongy yellow cakes can live on shelves for more than double that, 45 days.

So, if Twinkies were your zombie invasion survival plan, we suggest rethinking your strategy.

To read the NPR article, click here.

Florida Synthetic-Drug Zombies are Illegal.

Floridians don’t have as much to worry about these days because on April 24, 2013, Florida’s governor signed the Controlled Substances Bill into law. This bill adds 27 substances to Schedule I of controlled substances, making it a third-degree felony to sell, manufacture, deliver or possess with intent to sell synthetic drugs, commonly known as “bath salts,” “K2,” and “Spice.” To read the press release from the Florida Office of the Attorney General (AG), click here.

In December 2012, I previously wrote about Florida’s AG filing an emergency rule temporarily adding these substances to Schedule I of controlled substances. Click here to read that blog. This legislation now permanently bans these synthetic drugs.

Contact Experienced Health Law Attorneys.

The Health Law Firm routinely represents pharmacists, pharmacies, physicians, nurses and other health providers in investigations, regulatory matters, licensing issues, litigation, inspections and audits involving the DEA, Department of Health (DOH) and other law enforcement agencies. Its attorneys include those who are board certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law as well as licensed health professionals who are also attorneys.

To contact The Health Law Firm, please call (407) 331-6620 or (850) 439-1001 and visit our website at www.TheHealthLawFirm.com.

Comments?

Are you excited about the return of Twinkies? Have you rushed out to grab a spongy yellow cream log yet? Tell us your thoughts below.

Sources:

Stanford, Duane. “Twinkie Fans Delight in Hostess Return from Zombie Death.” Bloomberg. (July 15, 2013). From: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-07-15/twinkie-fans-delight-in-hostess-return-from-zombie-death.html

Godoy, Maria. “The Science of Twinkies: How Do They Last So Darn Long?” National Public Radio. (July 10, 2013). From: http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2013/07/09/200465360/the-science-of-twinkies-how-do-they-last-so-long

About the Author: George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., is Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law.  He is the President and Managing Partner of The Health Law Firm, which has a national practice.  Its main office is in the Orlando, Florida, area.  www.TheHealthLawFirm.com  The Health Law Firm, 1101 Douglas Ave., Altamonte Springs, FL 32714, Phone:  (407) 331-6620.

“The Health Law Firm” is a registered fictitious business name of George F. Indest III, P.A. – The Health Law Firm, a Florida professional service corporation, since 1999.
Copyright © 1996-2012 The Health Law Firm. All rights reserved.

1 Indest-2008-1By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law

You saw it on The Simpsons (Episode 19, Season 18). Homer “sleep-driving” and doing other stupid things without remembering them because he was prescribed “Napien.” (Note: “Napien” is the fictitious cartoon brand name for zolpidem, the main active in Ambien.)

You see it on YouTube with thousands of posted videos showing friends and family “ambo-tripping” or seemingly awake doing bizarre things while on a prescription sleeping medication. Although I have only viewed a few hundred of these, all the ones I have seen appear to be real-life occurrences.

I have never sleepwalked before. I have never been “hypnotizable” even when confronted by some of Vegas’s best magicians and hypnotists. I also always thought I was immune from any possible “Ambien moments” or “ambo-tripping” as the younger (and older) generation calls it.

Tom Brokaw’s Ambo-Tripping Inspiration.

It has only been since Tom Brokaw ambo-tripped through the halls at the Democratic National Convention in 2012 and later admitted this, that I have found the courage to write about this. Mr. Brokaw, a news anchor of indisputable integrity, claims to have accidentally taken a sleep medication by mistake. Then, reportedly bizarre conduct on his part occurred, whence he was rushed to the emergency room to be evaluated (bizarre conduct at the Democratic National Convention being totally inappropriate!). Later, he bravely admitted to the event. What inspiration!

My Personal Napien Moment.

Now I can admit to my own “Napien moment” like unto Homer Simpson.

It occurred late one Sunday night, the eve of my wife’s return from an extended trip out of town. As in most cases when my wife leaves town, my son and I lived the bachelor’s life until the day before her return. However, in this instance, we even put off doing the laundry, doing the dishes and cleaning up until late that Sunday night.

I was finally able to put a load of my golf shirts into the wash, after taking a prescribed sleeping tablet and sat down to watch the late reruns of Nurse Jackie, Game of Thrones and other Sunday night favorites. All the while I was worried about how long it would take to wash, dry and immediately hang up all of those shirts, just so my wife would not know I wore any clothes while she was gone.

The next morning I woke in a start, in my bed, the alarm clock not having been set and late for work. “Oh no” I thought, “I still have to dry and hand up all those shirts.” Knowing this would only make me later for work, I ran into the laundry room to get them into the dryer before I showered.

I opened the washer door: no shirts. I opened the dryer door: no shirts. I looked around and there were all my shirts, perfectly laundered, hanging up on hangers, not a wrinkle.

During the night, without recalling it at all, I must have gotten up and finished all my laundry. I guess this is a good thing. I’m just glad that ambo-tripping George didn’t drive them down the street and donate them all to Goodwill.

Now you ask: “What does this have to do with zombie law?”

Answer: “Nothing.”

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Comments?

Have you had an “ambo-tripping” moment? Have you witnessed any of these moments? Please leave comments below.

About the Author: George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., is Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law.  He is the President and Managing Partner of The Health Law Firm, which has a national practice.  Its main office is in the Orlando, Florida, area.  www.TheHealthLawFirm.com  The Health Law Firm, 1101 Douglas Ave., Altamonte Springs, FL 32714, Phone: (407) 331-6620.

“The Health Law Firm” is a registered fictitious business name of George F. Indest III, P.A. – The Health Law Firm, a Florida professional service corporation, since 1999.
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