It’s been almost two years since Florida lawmakers voted to create a prescription drug monitoring database. And yet it still hasn’t taken shape. A new article from the St. Petersburg Times examines all of the variables that have stood to delay the launch of the program and the issues that may be leading to its demise.
According to the piece, Governor Rick Scott has proposed the bill that created the program be repealed, and he’s not alone in his desire.
Unfortunately for Florida, the battle here to gain control of the illegal prescription drug trade is known across the country. Thirty-four states have monitoring programs and none of them really “get” what’s holding Florida back from developing the same type of system.
The drug company Purdue Pharma has once again renewed their pledge to give $2 million towards the creation of the monitoring program and more than one million additional dollars has been raised by private donations and grants.
The governor has said patient privacy is an issue, though other states remark that hasn’t been a problem. Some lawmakers who initially voted to pass the bill are now poised in opposition to the program, though it isn’t clear why.
Florida has become recognized as the capital for Pill Mills. It is widely known that our state struggles with prescription drug abuse and prevention and treatment of such abuse. “In 2009, Florida distributed more than a half-billion pills of the widely abused drug oxycodone.” In addition, it’s said that about 7 people die every single day in Florida because of prescription drugs.
Lawmakers are worried the Governor may be successful in repealing the measure, though they stand ready to override his veto if it comes to that. Last week the House Health and Human Services Committee voted 12 to 5 to repeal the program, a possible sign that the repeal will move forward.
For every reason the Governor and other opponents of the system give for its repeal, there is evidence to the contrary. Financial costs, effectiveness, and risk to personal information are all said to be nonissues by those who support the monitoring system. With both sides delivering rational arguments, it’s easy to see why the program has been stalled for the past two years. What isn’t clear is why such a database is having so much difficulty in Florida when other states implemented similar programs with little opposition at all.
The Governor has stated he plans on making penalties for illegal prescription drug activities even more stringent than they are. If you are accused of possessing or selling prescription drugs on the black market, you could face serious consequences. Contact our law offices today for a consultation on your case.