Thursday, June 9, 2011

Gov. Rick Scott signs pill mill bill into law

After initially fighting one of its key provisions, Gov. Rick Scott signed a bill Friday aimed at cracking down on clinics that frivolously dispense pain pills, feeding a nationwide prescription drug abuse epidemic.

"Florida will shed its title as the Oxy Express," Scott said at a bill signing ceremony in Tampa.

Below are key provisions of the new pill mill law, which seeks to help law enforcement authorities crack down on prescription drug abuse.

• New administrative and criminal penalties for overprescribing narcotics.

• A strengthening of the prescription drug monitoring database by changing reporting requirements from 15 to seven days.

• A background check requirement for the manager and support staff involved with the database.

• A requirement that the Department of Health study an appropriate monthly dosage limit that pharmacies can dispense.

• A dispensing ban for physicians, with exceptions for surgeons, methadone clinics, clinical trials and hospice.

• A mandatory buy-back program for doctors to return controlled substances to distributors.

• A requirement that pharmacies go through new rigorous permitting by July 2012.

• Tracking of wholesale distribution of controlled substances.

• Appropriation of $3 million for local law enforcement to enact new provisions.

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