Florida Governor Signs Crackdown on Physicians Dispensing Painkillers

Florida Gov. Rick Scott has signed a bill that bars physicians from dispensing painkillers in their offices, imposes criminal penalties for physicians who overprescribe them, creates more standards for pain clinics and authorizes a prescription-drug monitoring database, according to a report by the Miami Herald.


The legislation, a reaction to several high-profile "pill mills" run by physicians, was passed in early May, but Gov. Scott initially opposed creating the database, calling it a waste of money and an invasion of privacy. Florida was the largest state not to have such a database.


Here are the key provisions of the new law:

  • It contains new criminal and administrative penalties for physicians who overprescribe narcotics.
  • While physicians can still prescribe narcotics, they can no longer dispense them unless they are in medical facilities such as ASCs and hospices.
  • Pain clinics must register with the state, provide a public telephone number and include a reception area, restroom and private treatment rooms.
  • The state's Prescription Drug Monitoring Program database, authorized two years ago, will be activated and the time limit for reporting has been reduced from 15 to seven days.
  • Pharmacies that dispense pain medications are subject to a new permitting process.


Read the Miami Herald report on painkillers.


Related Articles on Florida's Crackdown on Painkillers:

Florida Senate Panel OKs Bill Targeting 'Pill Mills' With Harsher Penalties, Drug Database

Florida County Rethinks Painkiller Legislation After Statewide Restrictions Are Passed

State Legislators Refuse to Fund Drug Database, Law Enforcement Volunteer Funds


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