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.
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