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Pill Mill Bill

April 21st, 2009 by flanews

An estimated nine Floridians overdose and die every day from prescription drugs. Florida is one of only 12 states without a prescription tracking system. Drug dealers from all over the Southeast are driving to Florida to load up on painkillers. As Whitney Ray tells us, legislation to monitor prescription drug sales could help change the states reputation as a pill hub.

Powerful painkillers like Vicadin and Oxycotin are attracting drug dealers and pill addicts to Florida. Florida is just one of dozen states without a prescription drug monitoring system. Senator Mike Fasano has been fighting a seven year battle to create an electronic databases to track people abusing the system.

The monitoring system is going to be available to every physician, every pharmacist, and to law enforcement if there is an ongoing investigation, said Fasano.

Out-of-towners traveling to Florida and loading up on hundreds of pills at a time. Cancer Researcher, Doctor Jerry Goodwin said the abuse sickens him.

These medications are important to cancer patients too, so we want them controlled and we want them used right, said Dr. Goodwin.

Several bills were filed to fight the problem. Stricter legislation that would require more rigorous identification checks is being postponed until theres more money.

The failed legislation would have required pharmacies to purchase fingerer print and eye scanning machines.

The technology that was to be used there is very new and very expensive and this year we dont have the budget dollars to do that, said Fasano.

Fasanos bill would have an upfront cost to the Department of Health, but the money would be reimbursed through federal grants and private donors.

In years past privacy issues have held up the creation of the database. Fasanos legislation protects the prescription records of people who arent gaming the system.

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