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Opioid Legislation Would Limit Prescriptions to Three Days and Require Physician Training

January 8th, 2018 by Jake Stofan
Solving the opioid crisis is one of the top agenda items for this legislative session that begins Tuesday.
The Governor is supporting a limit on prescriptions and additional training for doctors.
In 2017 an average of 16 Floridian’s died with opioids in their system each day. The year before it was just 10.
Senator Lizbeth Benacquisto says over prescribing not only results in people developing a dependence on the drugs, but it also results in more drugs on the streets.
“The pills get stolen or somebody sells them,” said Benacquisto.
To tackle the issue Benacquisto is sponsoring Legislation that would restrict how many opioids a doctor could prescribe.
Single prescriptions would be limited to 3 days.
Prescriptions can be extended up to 7 days if a doctor deems it medically necessary.
The bill also requires doctors to go through training every other year for best practices in order to continue prescribing opioids.
“To medically manage people who have surgery, yet not set them up for addiction,” said Executive Director of the Florida Alcohol & Drug Abuse Association, Mark Fontaine.
The state would also expand its prescription drug monitoring database, by sharing the list with other states.
By expanding the prescription drug monitoring database across state lines, lawmakers hope to prevent people from doctor shopping.
“If I go to Georgia and I get a doctor or two and I get a doctor or two here and there’s no information being exchanged then I can literally walk away with four prescriptions to opioids and nobody would know,” said Fontaine.
Doctors would be required to look patients up in the data base before prescribing them opioids.
“To make sure that physicians are aware of what their patients are doing,” said Benacquisto.
If passed Florida would be the second state to restrict prescriptions to 3 days.
The only other state with such restrictions is Kentucky.

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