Florida Governor Rick Scott Officially Supports Narcotics Database
Posted on Apr 26th, 2011 by Corporate Communications
Last week the Florida House passed a bill to create a database to track pain medication prescriptions. Initially, Governor Rick Scott and Florida House Speaker Dean Cannon were not in favor of the bill. Scott was initially concerned about patient privacy as well as potential costs to cover the program. But after long debates and several adjustments made to the proposed bill, the two politicians were in agreement with the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program by the end of last week. Now the bill is in the hands of the senate.
This decision to go forward with the bill is a big step forward toward Florida’s control of prescription drug abuse. Florida tops the list of all states in the sale of illicit pain medications; over 41 million Oxycodone pills were dispensed in Florida during a period where less than 5 million were dispensed in all other 49 states combined. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement has reported that there are 1,167 pain clinics registered in Florida and that 7 people die from prescription drug abuse every day in the state.
The new Prescription Drug Monitoring Program will make it easier for law enforcement to track the dispensing of narcotics. It will require that the suppliers – doctors and pharmacies – think twice before prescribing and dispensing opiate-based prescriptions. In turn, it will be much more difficult for abusers of these medications to support their addictions.
The timing of this Florida bill coincides with the recent announcement by the Obama administration that a national plan called Epidemic: Responding to America’s Prescription Drug Abuse Crisis is in the works.
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