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UPDATE: House committee set to abolish pain clinic oversight, do away with drug database

by Dara Kam | March 10th, 2011

CORRECTION: The House Majority Office data about the number of dispensing practitioners in Florida is incorrect. The actual number is 156, not 56, according to House Speaker Dean Cannon’s spokeswoman Katherine Betta. She also point out that although Florida’s dispensing practitioners comprise only 11% of those who hand out oxycodone nationally, but they dispense 85% of the oxycodone sold by practitioners in the U.S.

With House Speaker Dean Cannon‘s blessing, a House committee is preparing to abolish all oversight of the state’s pain management clinics and repeal a controversial prescription drug database law enforcement officials, including Attorney General Pam Bondi, believe is crucial in combating illicit narcotic trafficking.

The House Health and Human Services Committee Chairman is slated to vote on two bills (PCB HHSC 11-03, PCB HHSC 11-04) at an 8 a.m. meeting this morning that would repeal current laws regulating pain management clinics in an effort to crack down on pill mills and impose restrictions on the types of drugs doctors would be allowed to dispense.

One of the bills would bar Florida doctors registered as “dispensing practitioners” from handing out Schedule II, III, IV or V drugs, including highly addictive oxycodone and methodone.

But critics of the measure, pushed by committee chairman Robert Schenck, R-Spring Hill, say it will do little to keep the narcotics out of the hands of drug dealers because most of the prescription drugs are dispensed by pharmacies.

The House Majority Office’s own data showed that only 56 of the state’s 6,335 dispensing practitioners can dole out oxycodone.

The second measure would scrap the state’s yet-to-be-implemented Prescription Drug Monitoring Program. An administrative law judge just gave state officials the green light to move forward with the database by ending a bid dispute over the program created by lawmakers two years ago.

Two new twists in the drawn-out drug database saga: drug-maker Purdue Pharma offered Wednesday to provide more than $1 million over two years to operate the program that under state law can only be funded with private donations. Purdue manufactures OxyContin, one of the highly addictive drugs officials are trying to stamp out on the streets.

And also on Wednesday Gov. Rick Scott gave the first indication he may be easing up on his opposition to the program.

“I don’t want to be participating in things that are only funded for a very short time and then (have) the expectation that the state pick up the tab,” Scott said.

Scott’s staff said the governor may be open to the drug database if his concerns about a potential security breach and a permanent source of future funding are dealt with.

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10 Responses to “UPDATE: House committee set to abolish pain clinic oversight, do away with drug database”

  1. RDC Says:

    Great so now when I lose my job due to cutbacks, at least I can have a second career selling pain pills to people out of state.

  2. What what Says:

    A state of poor illiterate drug dependents is what this clown is trying to create.

  3. rjr Says:

    I think Scott will lose this one.

  4. real american Says:

    There is no political ideology that can be applied to this type of decision. This is purely motivated by powerful lobbiests and wealthy pain clinic/urgent care owners (like Gov. Scott) that dont want the money train to stop. So , if a few thousand people die because of this policy ……oh , well. More likely , the most deaths will occur outside of our state , (because the majority of clients of these ” clinics” come from other states due to our wellknown lack of oversight) Soooo, they figure if the greater number of addicts die outside of our state because they bought drugs here , does it matter?? To them all that really matters……….M-O-N-E-Y!!

  5. Nick Naranja Says:

    Can we at least make a special tax on clinics so we get some kind of benefit out of it.

  6. too mch Says:

    They Say that florida dispenses 85% of the FDA APPROVED….alleged KILLER drug called Ocxycnotnin or roxy’s…..

    like 500 million tablets a yera in fl alone? WTF? these sellf ro 30 to 40$ each on the street.

    How can any politician or the fda etc approve of these drugs that everyone khows people are mostly using to get high on and getting keeled with every day.

    its simple greed. Big Pharma has everyone so hopped up on PILLS because our insureance pays for it that’s why health care costs so much

  7. Florida RN Says:


  8. Nancy Says:

    I say that the rich stick together to make money and make it easier for each other. I think these dr’s that are giving out so much of the drug, should lose their lic. and pay a very hefty fine. If this keeps up with the Republicans cutting down on programs like this, we’ll all be taking the pills.

  9. real american Says:

    Until everyone realizes that all members of congress (state/federal) are very financially comfortable . They also have the power to make sure their money is safe.
    If you understand that , you understand that tax breaks for the wealthy would be tax greaks for THEM!!!!!!
    It is not about Reps and Dems . Its about regular citizens .

  10. Leigh Says:

    What kind of Wellness Center??? Pain Clinic has 2 security guards outside and a uniformed policeman inside the clinic. No Clinic I want to go to. We have 3 pain clinics in our neighborhood and our crime rate is up. Most people that go to this places are drug dealers along with the owners and the Doctors!!More Tennessee, Kentucky, Texas!!! Scott says he is afraid a Computer system may be breached, well how about the other 40 states that are on board. That is BS. To me the only reason that he does not want this…. is maybe they contributed a lot to his campaign.. I do not know… but privacy issues, come on… Drs at this clinics have been reprimanded at other clinics and are on probation and can not get jobs anywhere else. He has to do something about this… one clinic in our community takes in about 30,000 a day… yep you heard right…..

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