Florida Governor Signs ‘Pill Mill’ Law to Cut Down on Prescription Drug Abuse
Florida Governor Rick Scott has signed into law a bill designed to cut down on prescription drug abuse by controlling ‘pill mills’ in the state. The law authorizes the creation of a prescription-drug monitoring database to reduce doctor-shopping by people looking to collect multiple painkiller prescriptions. The legislation also imposes new penalties for physicians who overprescribe medication and imposes stricter rules for operating pharmacies.
The Associated Press reports that federal authorities estimate that 85 percent of oxycodone is sold in Florida. Many of the sales are to people who come from out of state and then resell the pills illegally.
After Governor Scott signed the bill on Friday, federal authorities executed two search warrants in pill mill investigations, the AP reports. According to the Orlando Police Department, one doctor is accused of prescribing more pills than the entire state of California, which dispensed 303,000 oxycodone pills in one year.
Governor Scott had previously opposed the prescription drug-monitoring database. He said he was concerned about cost and patient privacy. In part to allay privacy concerns, the law requires that administrators of the database undergo FBI background checks. Law enforcement can only use the database as part of an active investigation.