Scott: ‘I don’t believe we should be doing’ drug databaseby Dara Kam | February 14th, 2011
Gov. Rick Scott said he scrapped Florida’s much-anticipated computer system aimed at curbing the sale of prescription drugs by pill mills because he doesn’t believe it’s something the state should do.
Scott said he’s backing instead Attorney General Pam Bondi’s announcement that she’s going to step up prosecutions of the pain clinics with a team led by former state Sen. Dave Aronberg, a Greenacres Democrat.
“What I’m focused on is the stuff Attorney General Bondi’s focused on -focus on the people that are doing the wrong things rather than just trying to create a database of everybody in the state,” Scott, a former health care executive, said this morning. “I’m focused on the things she’s working on.”
But Bondi, who ramped up her efforts after Scott axed his office of drug control and policy, said recently that the prescription drug database is one of the tolls that law enforcement officials – and doctors – need to stanch the flow of the highly addictive drugs from Florida, which she called the “epicenter” of the nation’s illicit drug activity.
Scott said the database hasn’t worked (it’s not up and running yet because of a bid dispute).
“And I don’t’ believe we ought to be doing it,” he said.
Scott’s decision to do away with the database, created by lawmakers two years ago, alarmed officials in Kentucky and other states who’ve seen an influx of prescription drugs from Florida. And it created shockwaves in the law enforcement community and among lawmakers who backed the program.
The database would crack down on “doctor-shopping” by allowing doctors to look up patients’ prescription records.
“Without this important program Florida will take a step back ten years or more into the past,” Sen. Mike Fasano, R-New Port Richey, said of Scott’s decision.