House committee approves new pill mill bill over objections of small pharmacistsby Dara Kam | April 12th, 2011
The House budget committee unanimously approved a pill mill compromise of sorts with Attorney General Pam Bondi’s blessing but over the objections of small pharmacists.
“We’re going to make a difference. We’re going to see a difference. You are going to give us the tools…to come in and shut down these drug dealers,” Bondi told the committee.
The omnibus measure, released late Monday, includes a slew of new regulations for pharmacies and doctors even as House GOP leaders are deregulating other professions.
The proposal, opposed by the Florida Medical Association, would require nearly all health care professionals, including doctors, to register with the state to be able to prescribe controlled substances, require that they use tamper-proof prescription pads, and force them to keep a log of all pain medications prescribed and give the log to law enforcement officials if requested.
But the plan received the most opposition from independent pharmacists, who would be subject to more strident permitting requirements than retail chains.
“You call this the pill mill bill. It might have originally been that. But this is really an anti-small pharmacy bill,” said pharmacist Linda Bezick of Greenville.
But lawmakers said the measure is necessary to help reverse the number of prescription overdoses in Florida, estimated at seven a day.
Rep. Rich Glorioso, R-Plant City, said that one of his family members is struggling with prescription pill addiciton.
“If we don’t pass this bill, we’re going to watch our kids die,” he said.