Pill mill legislation ready for House voteby John Kennedy | April 20th, 2011
The House gave preliminary approval Wednesday to legislation aimed at closing “pill mills” that dispense painkillers and other prescription medications to drug dealers and addicts.
The measure (CS/HB 7095) advances the state’s plan to establish a prescription drug database, which earlier had been opposed both by Republican Gov. Rick Scott and House Speaker Dean Cannon, R-Winter Park, who have since reversed field and support the plan.
Scott even testified before a congressional committee last week touting Florida’s steps toward cracking down on pill mills, including those he initially condemned.
The legislation, poised for a final House vote Thursday, would include strict new regulations for doctors, pain-management clinics and prescription drug distributors, while also imposing new limits on pharmacies.
The Senate’s version of the legislation (CS/SB 818) is still awaiting a full vote by the chamber.
The database push has been opposed by the Florida Medical Association and requires nearly all health care professionals, including doctors, to register with the state before prescribing controlled substances.
It also requires they use tamper-proof prescription pads, and forces health care providers to keep a log of all pain medications prescribed and give the log to law enforcement officials if requested.