Pill mill bill back on trackby Dara Kam | May 6th, 2011
With less than 12 hours to go, lawmakers are now close to sealing a deal further cracking down on pill mills.
The final deal will include a ban on doctors dispensing powerful narcotics with no exemption for workers’ compensation physicians, no cap on the amount of doses pharmacies can dispense – a major sticking point for Sen. Mike Fasano, shepherding the bill in the Senate. It does include Attorney General Pam Bondi’s proposed language stiffening penalties against rogue pain management clinics and doctors. It will also ban pharmaceutical companies from contributing to the private foundation that pays for the state’s prescription drug database.
Limiting the amount of highly addictive pain drugs that get on the street has become a priority of Gov. Rick Scott, who testified before Congress on the issue last month touting his plan to track the drugs from the wholesaler to the pharmacy to the doctor. Scott had to give up on capping the dosage amounts after cancer hospitals and hospices complained the limits would keep them from being able to treat patients in chronic pain.
Procedurally, the Senate will take up the House’s bill (HB 7095), put the compromise language on it, and send it back to the House for a final vote before 10:16 p.m. That’s the earliest lawmakers can vote on the budget, the only thing they’re constitutionally required to do during the 60-day legislative session, and they are expected to call it quits shortly after. Gov. Rick Scott plans to join House Speaker Dean Cannon and Senate President Mike Haridopolos for the traditional sine die hankie drop.