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 www.TheHealthLawFirm.com.
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: http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/fl-drug-database-trouble-again-20130501,0,6628393.story
Haughney, Kathleen. “At Last Minute, Lawmakers PDMP for One Year.” Orlando Sentinel. (May 3, 2013). From:
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. www.TheHealthLawFirm.com The Health Law Firm, 1101 Douglas Ave., Altamonte Springs, FL 32714, Phone: (407) 331-6620.
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