Scott, Bondi tout Florida progress on pill mills on FoxNewsby Dara Kam | April 30th, 2011
Gov. Rick Scott, in Washington for the White House Correspondents Dinner, and Attorney General Pam Bondi appeared on FoxNews shortly after noon today to tell the nation what Florida’s doing to crack down on pill mills.
Florida’s proliferation of pill mills has become national news as attorneys general and governors around the nation blame the Sunshine State for rising prescription drug addiction problems.
Scott blamed his fellow Republican predecessors for the drug woes.
“We haven’t had enough focus,” he said.
Scott also touted the House’s pill mill plan, much broader than the Senate proposal, that would limit distribution of highly addictive narcotics and bar doctors from dispensing most powerful pain medications.
“We’re going to start from the manufacturer, to the distributor, to the doctor, to the user. We’re going to stop this,” Scott said. “We’ve got a comprehensive plan to deal with all these things. We’re going to track all of it and we’re going to stop it.”
Bondi, who before her election as AG was a frequent contributor on Fox, bragged about the state’s prescription drug database while emphasizing its privacy component, a concern of Scott who early on wanted to scrap the program. Bondi pushed both Scott and House Speaker Dean Cannon to allow the Prescription Monitoring Program to get up and running to “prevent people from going to doctor shopping,” as she told Fox today.
Lawmakers are working out differences between the House plan that includes provisions Scott is pushing for – the ban on doctor dispensing and a limit on how many doses manufacturers can sell to pharmacies. The Senate measure, expected to be voted on Monday or Tuesday, includes the tougher law enforcement features Bondi’s after that would make it easier for prosecutors to get access to the database and strengthen penalties against rogue clinics and doctors.
“These are drug dealers wearing white coats. They’re a cash-only business. They have armed guards at the door. They have lines of people around the door. They’re drug dealers and they’re addicts. We’re going to do everything in our power to put them out of business,” she said.
Today is also the second national prescription drug take-back day, sponsored by the federal Drug Enforcement Administration. People can get rid of their old prescription drugs at more than 5,300 locations throughout the country.
Bondi encouraged those with the unused powerful pain medications to dump their drugs.
“Our kids are getting in our medicine cabinets. That’s what’s happening. They’re going in. They’re taking these drugs,” she said.