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UPDATE: Judge dismisses drug database protest

by Dara Kam | March 8th, 2011

UPDATE: Department of Health spokeswoman Michelle Dahnke didn’t reveal much about how the agency will proceed with the database after the judge’s ruling.

“The Department will determine our next steps following a review of the ruling,” she wrote in an e-mail.

An administrative law judge today dismissed a bid protest that kept the state’s controversial drug database from being implemented but the program hailed by law enforcement officials remains in limbo.

In a 71-page order, DOAH Judge Robert Meale ruled that the Department of Health didn’t do anything wrong by awarding the bid to Health Information Designs. Competitor Optimum Technology challenged the bid, saying the department erred in calculating the companies’ proposals.

Under the Health Information Designs contract, the database will cost $887,059 to get up and running. Optimum’s bid – $565,044 – didn’t win because the company scored lower overall. The case is now closed.

The judge’s ruling paves the way for department officials to move forward with the database, but that’s unlikely to happen because Gov. Rick Scott wants lawmakers to repeal the law they passed two years ago creating it – even though they also prohibited the use of any state funds to underwrite it.

GOP legislative leaders have now squared off over the database, designed to capture all prescriptions written for controlled substances and aimed at cracking down on “doctor shopping.”

Senate President Mike Haridopolos wants to keep the database and is willing to spend state money to get and keep it operational. But House Speaker Dean Cannon wants to follow Scott’s lead and scrap the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program, hailed by law enforcement officials.

Cannon’s wants to stop doctors who are allowed to dispense drugs from handing out the narcotics. His lieutenant, Rep. Robert Schenck, is pushing a sweeping bill that would do away with current pain management clinic laws.

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2 Responses to “UPDATE: Judge dismisses drug database protest”

  1. Green Day Jimi Says:

    Skelator Scott doesn’t want his buddy Rush -the drugster- Limbaugh from being hassled by the PoPo! Fat Rush – might have to flush – his stask of Roxies!!!!!

    Boo Hoo!

  2. Kevin Says:

    Far be it for this governor to do anything that would get in the way of making a buck for the healthcare sector. He has no problem with Dr shopping. As long as you have the money and are willing to pay top dollar for your prescription pain meds he will sell them to you if you need them or not. Besides if you die doing them it’s you own darn fault.

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