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Rick Scott won't budge on database, but announces plan to combat pill mills

Gov. Rick Scott on Monday started off a news conference on his plan to combat pill mills by saying he doesn't want to talk about the controversial prescription drug monitoring database. He said he still has privacy concerns about the program that some say will help fight the state precription drug abuse epidemic.

Instead, Scott announced the launch of a statewide "strike force" led by FDLE Commissioner Gerald Bailey in conjunction with local law enforcement agencies. Scott directed the FDLE to use $800,000 in unspent grant money to help pay for overtime and other costs associated with the effort at the local level.

"I have consistently said that we must target the criminal source of this terrible problem in our state," Scott said, with Attorney General Pam Bondi and a handful of police officers and sheriff's deputies at this side. Scott called it "phase one" in a comprehensive plan to target drug distributors. "It recognizes that law enforcement officers on the front line targeting criminals will be how we stop this problem."

In her remarks, Bondi, who supports the database, acknowledged that she and the governor have a difference of opinion on that matter, but she praised the governor for taking action on the law enforcement front. "We need more tools for all these people standing behind us," she said. 

After the news conference, Bondi said she considers the database "an essential tool for law enforcement." She also said a top priority for her are new rules that would limit the number of pills that a pain clinic doctor can prescribe.

"Right now you can walk in and get a prescription for 100 or more OxyContin tablets and that's ridiculous. No legitimate doctor wants to do that," she said, adding that legitimate pain management clinics need to be protected. "They're getting hurt by these drug dealers wearing white coats"

The "strike force" will involve personnel in the Department of Health, Agency for Health Care Administration, Division of Business and Professional Regulation, Florida Highway Patrol and, with the blessing of Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater,  investigators in the office of insurance fraud.

"This is going to bring us all together," Bailey said. "It's going to bring a lot more resources to the table and it's going to target those resources better."

Scott also indicated at the news conference that he supports legislation making its way through the House that would limit the ability of people who prescribe drugs to also dispense them.

Comments

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Scott is a Crook

Law enforcement cannot, has not, and never will be able to enforce and deter criminal behavior. The failed war on drugs is proof of that. The perscription Drug Monitoring Database could not only prevent doctor shopping but save lives by keeping doctors informed about what prescriptions patients are already taking.
Rick Scott is just an evil %&$*#@&.

Robert Jenkins

Does not the general public in Florida understand; if these drugs are controled at the source, "Dick's" budies will lose millions of dollars? By losing these millions of dollars; there will be less to buy, I mean contribute to "Dick'" future campaigns?

me.yahoo.com/a/yKIUuWxrmt3LGFpyOU0S4oVwejrQdE_0egWe

First, Governor Scott sabotages efforts to create a database to catch drug addicts (users) from doctor shopping for extra, illegal prescriptions to feed their crime-causing addictions. Now, the governor wants to go after unscrupulous physicians and pharmacists (suppliers) who facilitate many, many purchases of illegal amounts of drugs. Why go after the supplier, only? Creating tools to apprehend both suppliers and users would be a much more effective law enforcement strategy, don't you agree? Which begs the question: Just who is the governor trying to protect? Someone like famous Floridian Rush Limbaugh, perhaps? Governor Scott claims the doctor shopping database would be an invasion of privacy. Privacy of criminals? The governor has no qualms about requiring testing those who are unemployed, seek public assistance, or are state workers, though. Just who's privacy is Governor Scott trying to protect? Why is Governor Scott trying to cripple law enforcements efforts?

Jeff

Dave Aronburg had a Senate Bill last year HB143 for a free real time biometric system being offered to pharmacy’s in Florida that catches fake ID and never uses patient personal information thereby making it the most HIPAA advanced system ever. The free system is offered by biotech medical software at University of Central Florida BioScriptRx com This system doesn't need new laws or cost the tax payers a penny. BioScriptRx only uses the finger scan for patient ID. That finger can only go to one doctor and it checks to see if that finger has been to another doctor. Until we stop fake ID and will only have a band-aid and people will die. This is the same system that our new Drug Czar backed as a Senator in a senate Bill HB 143 last year. If Gov. Scott really cares this system answers his questions about a dadabase

Jeff

There already is a task force that is doing a great job. They say they have made cases on over 60 pill mills. This is to get Bondi and public off his back! Also see above biometric database free from university of central florida, this never uses patient personal information. So he had a database all about privacy, it only tracks the eye or finger scan not the patients name

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