Prescription Drug Monitoring Program

Surgeons Object To Pain Pill Limits

Jan 12, 2018

Seven days’ worth of pain medicines are inadequate for patients who’ve had their chests ripped open for heart surgery or had their hips or knees replaced, doctors told lawmakers considering legislation aimed at curbing the state’s opioid crisis on Wednesday.

Several proposals to combat the opioid epidemic are circulating through the Florida House and Senate.

The governor and state lawmakers are proposing new prescription limits to fight opioid abuse.  But they also want to require physicians use a long-standing drug monitoring database—raising the question, why wasn’t it mandatory to begin with?

Pill Mill Crackdown Saved 1,000 Lives

Dec 22, 2015
Wikimedia Creative Commons

The Florida Legislature’s crackdown on so-called pill mills saved more than 1,000 lives over three years.

That’s according to a study published in the American Journal of Public Health Monday. Researchers compared Florida to North Carolina, which had similar prescription drug overdose problems but didn’t make big reforms.

In Florida, law enforcement arrested 47 pill mill owners, doctors and staff, and also suspended 92 DEA licenses to prescribe opioids. Then state laws limited how much doctors could prescribe and curtailed doctor shopping.

Five years ago, Florida was recognized as the unofficial pill mill capitol of the country. Ninety-three of the top 100 oxycodone-dispensing doctors in the U.S. practiced in Florida.  Since then the state has made aggressive efforts to crack down on unscrupulous doctors and pain clinics.  In his new book, American Pain: How a Young Felon and His Ring of Doctors Unleashed America's Deadliest Drug Epidemic,” Journalism professor and author John Temple chronicles how brothers Christopher and Jeffrey George created the largest painkiller distribution ring in the country through their South Florida clinics and how Florida’s lax regulations at the time helped make it all possible.

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