The Senate unanimously approved a compromise aimed at stripping Florida of its dubious distinction as the “pill mill capital” of the nation as Attorney General Pam Bondi looked on from the dais and two of Gov. Rick Scott’s top aides watched from the public gallery.
The package, a deal reached in the waning hours of the legislative session wrapping up tonight, bans doctors from dispensing highly addictive narcotics and heightens penalties against rogue pain clinics.
“Florida will no longer be known as the pill mill capital of the world,” said the bill sponsor Sen. Mike Fasano, R-New Port Richey. “It will come to an end in the state of Florida.”
Fasano credited Bondi, Senate President Mike Haridopolos, R-Merritt Island, and his wife Stephanie, a doctor seated beside Bondi as the vote was taken, for insisting on keeping the state’s prescription drug database over the objections of House Speaker Dean Cannon and Scott.
The measure also requires prescriptions for controlled substances to be written on Department of Health-approved prescription pads or electronically, onsite inspections of pharmacies and a mandatory buy-back period for doctors no longer able to dispense the drugs to get rid of them.
The measure goes back to the House for final approval before it heads to the governor, whose aides said he supports it.