Pill Mill Database on the Line


Nationwide, Oxycodone drug deaths are up 3%, but in Florida, they are down 29%. The most recent comparison is between the last six months of 2011 and the first six months of 2012.

For two years, Florida has kept a database of who is being prescribed dangerous narcotics. Funding has come from private sources and the database was about to run out of money, when lawmakers, led by State Representative Mike Fasano, championed the cause.

"A database that has been successful. A database that is saving lives in this state will continue to be able to do that," said Rep. Fasano.

Sending a half million dollars to fund the database was one of the last compromises in the legislative session.

The problem is that it is lumped together with several controversial items that could bring a veto.

Straight from the legislation that passed is a provision that doctors actually check the database to see if someone is an abuser.

Attorney General Pam Bondi says the database has proven its worth.

"Because in one case, we are actually able to charge a nurse who had been using the database posing as a doctor so it ended up helping the physician," said Pam Bondi.

If the database survives the gubernatorial veto, lawmakers say they'll try again next year to mandate that the database is checked before the doctors write the first prescription for narcotics.

Right now, only 4% of the doctors are using the database to see if their patients are doctor shopping. The Florida Medical Association has been the chief opponent of requiring doctors to check the database.

Supporters say if more doctors used the prescription monitoring database fewer drug deaths would occur.


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