Published: Jul 05, 2011 5:20 PM EDT
Updated: Jul 05, 2011 4:20 PM EDT

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) - State agents and health officials are confiscating leftover pills from Florida pain clinics.

Under a new state law that took effect last week, clinics and doctors can only write prescriptions for pain drugs, which now must be filled at pharmacies. Leftover pills can be returned to distributors or given to the state to be destroyed.

About 10 agents visited a Broward County pain clinic Tuesday. Authorities are targeting clinics and doctors that ordered at least 2,000 pain pills a month this year or have suspicious histories.

The law also authorized a prescription-drug monitoring database. Gov. Rick Scott initially opposed the database, calling it a waste of money and an invasion of privacy.

According to the state, more than 2,500 people in Florida die each year from painkiller abuse.

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