Lawmakers Vote to Fund Florida’s Prescription Drug Monitoring Program

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law

The future of Florida’s prescription drug monitoring program looked bleak going into the last day of the legislative session. However, on May 3, 2013, lawmakers voted to fund the prescription drug database for one year, according to the Orlando Sentinel. Law enforcement officials have said the program is essential to fighting the war on prescription drug abuse

The database, which was previously funded on donations and federal grants, has had a questionable future since its inception.

To read the entire article from the Orlando Sentinel, click here.

Funding for Prescription Drug Database Will Come From a Health Bill.

According to the Orlando Sentinel, funding for the database was tacked onto a health bill that included provisions on nursing home beds, trauma center deregulation and 10 neonatal beds for Miami Children’s Hospital. The bill passed 37 to 2.

The bill requires the Department of Health (DOH) to put $500,000 of its budget toward running the prescription drug database.

Not the First Time the Database’s Future Was Unclear.

In 2011, the House and Florida Governor Rick Scott tried to repeal the law creating the prescription drug database before it was even operational, according to the Sun Sentinel. Then, in September 2012, the prescription drug monitoring program said it would run out of money before the end of the fiscal year. However, the DOH found federal grant money that is paying for the program’s current operations.

Click here to read the entire article from the Sun Sentinel.

Who Is Using the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program?

According to a 2012 report, the database was used 2.6 million times by health care professionals. Law enforcement officials used it more than 20,000 times to help with criminal investigations involving controlled substances.

In a combined effort, Florida’s prescription drug legislation, the statewide prescription drug monitoring database, and the prescription drug crackdowns by law enforcement seem to be working. The number of oxycodone-related deaths in Florida is down, and the number of young adults abusing prescription drugs is also on the decline. Click here to read a blog I previously wrote on this subject.

Contact Health Law Attorneys Experienced with Investigations of Health Professionals and Providers.

The attorneys of The Health Law Firm provide legal representation to physicians, nurses, nurse practitioners, CRNAs, pain management doctors, dentists, pharmacists, psychologists and other health providers in Department of Health (DOH) investigations, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) investigations, FBI investigations, Medicare investigations, Medicaid investigations and other types of investigations of health professionals and providers.

To contact The Health Law Firm, please call (407) 331-6620 or (850) 439-1001 and visit our website at


Do you think the state prescription drug monitoring program is worth saving? As a health care professional, do you use the database? Please leave any thoughtful comments below.


Haughney, Kathleen. “Lawmakers Provide No Money for Drug-Abuse Database.” Sun Sentinel. (May 2, 2013). From:,0,6628393.story

Haughney, Kathleen. “At Last Minute, Lawmakers PDMP for One Year.” Orlando Sentinel. (May 3, 2013). From:,0,

About the Author: George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., is Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law. He is the President and Managing Partner of The Health Law Firm, which has a national practice. Its main office is in the Orlando, Florida, area. The Health Law Firm, 1101 Douglas Ave., Altamonte Springs, FL 32714, Phone: (407) 331-6620.

Tag Words: Prescription drug monitoring program, Florida prescription drug monitoring program, prescription drug database, Department of Health, DOH, DEA, Drug Enforcement Administration, Board of Medicine, criminal, overprescribing, pill mill, pill mill laws, pharmacist, doctor, physician, nurse, controlled substances, pharmacies, pharmacist license, pain management, Florida prescription drug crackdown, Florida prescription drug abuse, prescription drug trafficking, DEA investigation, doctor shopping, defense attorney, defense lawyer

"The Health Law Firm" is a registered fictitious business name of George F. Indest III, P.A. - The Health Law Firm, a Florida professional service corporation, since 1999.
Copyright © 1996-2012 The Health Law Firm. All rights reserved.


Response to: Lawmakers Vote to Fund Florida’s Prescription Drug Monitoring Program
Tuesday, May 7, 2013
Khug says:

Do not punish everyone. There are legit patients out here dying inside there homes because they can't get their RX filled. Fix this before it's worse than it is. I don't think that's possible. You've hit rock bottom by punishing everyone. Why not check into the ones that pay cash? Have them come in for weekly pill counts. That's a start. If theyre honest, they won't have a problem with that. I sure don't have a problem with pill counts because I don't abuse them sell them or use any other way than prescribed. WALK TEN MINUTES IN MY SHOES!

Response to: Lawmakers Vote to Fund Florida’s Prescription Drug Monitoring Program
Friday, May 10, 2013
Disappointed says:

Transparency? Due process? Remedy? Foreign words to the PDMP/DEA...

Response to: Lawmakers Vote to Fund Florida’s Prescription Drug Monitoring Program
Tuesday, November 4, 2014
Stacey West says:

I volunteer in a free clinic as a ARNP treating the less fortunate. Many of my patients are honest people who are very appreciative. Unfortunately, I also meet patients who try to use this service to obtain prescriptions for narcotics/barbiturates. They then fill these prescriptions and sell the medications for profit on the streets. This database is the only tool I have to combat this problem.

Response to: Lawmakers Vote to Fund Florida’s Prescription Drug Monitoring Program
Wednesday, November 12, 2014
The Health Law Firm says:

Ms. West: Thank you for your insight into how you use the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program. We agree the program can be a great tool for health care providers. However, we also believe the prescription database was not intended to be used for criminal prosecution or law enforcement purposes. Yet it is routinely being used to prosecute physicians, pharmacists and pharmacies among others. We will keep an eye on what happens to the program in the future.

Like this blog? Add your public comments:

Items in bold indicate required information.