The physician's assistant used a bullhorn to summon her next group of patients.
"Come on down!" she shouted, her Southern drawl piercing the din in the Jacksonville pain clinic's standing-room-only waiting area.
For $140 cash each - no insurance or credit cards - she'd take them into her office as a group, performing little or no exam. Most never saw a doctor, but almost all walked out of S&P Medical with prescriptions for the same potent pill cocktail.
The prescriptions - for hydrocodone, a narcotic painkiller; Xanax, an antidepressant; and Soma, a muscle-relaxer - were pre-signed by S&P's doctor, a retired pathologist from Deland who visited the clinic once or twice a week. Then they were phoned or faxed to a list of pharmacies posted in the waiting room.