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Schenck's revised pill mill bill passes committee after getting slammed for hurting small businesses

A plan to combat the state's precription drug abuse epidemic by limiting dispensing of narcotics to big pharmacies faced criticism Wednesday in the House Judiciary committee.

Rep. Robert Schenck originally filed a bill that would allow all pharmacies to dispense, but prevent doctors from dispensing. That raised concerns that unscrupulous doctors or pain clinic operators would simply open pharmacies to skirt the law. So Schenck presented an amended bill to allow dispensing only by pharmacies owned by publicly traded companies, those with more than $100 million of taxable assets in Florida, and those that have been continuously permitted for 10 years. He also increased from $1 million to $3 million funding for a law enforcement crackdown.

Schenck displayed extreme confidence in his approach, saying: "Once this bill is signed into the law this problem goes away."

But folks in the pharmacy industry and some committee members complained that the bill will hurt small businesses. 

"This really punishes the mom and pops throughout the entire state," said Richard Steinberg, D-Miami Beach.

And Lori Weems, general counsel for the Florida Pharmacy Association, said the bill would prevent pharmacies from prescribing non-narcotices, such as Ritalin and drugs to treat epilepsy.  "This is the first time I can recall community pharmracies being targeted as the cause of this crisis," she said.

Others, though, said the crisis has become so severe that it's important to take an extreme stance.

"I will err on the side of perhaps being too agressive in attacking pill mils because up until now we've been far too lenient," said Matt Gaetz, R-Shalimar.

Also on hand to support the bill: Bonnie Rogers, public safety policy coordinatory for Gov. Rick Scott.

HB7095 passed with an 11-6 vote. This was its last committee stop.

 

Comments

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d

the article implies that any schedule II drug--not just opiates--would be banned from small pharmacies. Is this correct?

"...the bill would prevent pharmacies from prescribing non-narcotices, such as Ritalin and drugs to treat epilepsy."

The epilepsy designation makes me think of secobarbital.

Clovus

INSANITY?

Give Walgreens and CVS the only narcotics to prescribe? The price has tripled in two years and they never carry them any way.

Only small mom and pop drugstores carry supply and cater to the permanently infirm as when AID crisis hit the fan.

Those whom need the pain management are paying for the rest. Small business should not be punished becuase Walgreens and CVS supported Gov. Scott

Only small pharmacies will order a supply three weeks in advance for a regular client. The big chains could care less.

NOTE> You eliminate the pain clinics you open up the flood gates to Heroin and fund the Mexican Cartels and Taliban.

Those in pain will find a solution and if there is no legal solution they will take the next best alternative. They will not wake up the next day with out pain but if you think the mortality rates are high now.

Wait till they are all in Overtown or Opalocka buying smack.

Boots

It's the freakin' Pain Clinics that's causing the problem not mom and pop pharmacies. Don't tell me the state legislature can't come up with a way of dealing with the culprits without harming legitimate business for Chrissakes! Or maybe the idiots can't!

Lucerainc

Interesting how Solantic meets the definition in the bill. Also interesting how Mr. Scott transferred ownership to Mrs. Scott.

MG

What drug dealers aren't small business people too?

ED

Here we go again Rick Scott. We put this criminal in office, so we are to blame. He is attacking the only Pharmacies which take VERY strict measures on the dispensing of such narcotics. Unlike the big chain pharmacies, we the neighborhood pharmacy require a valid local ID and all patients must sign paperwork. We verify all narcotic medications, check the doctors and the clinics to make sure the prescription is valid. The chain pharmacies do none of this. Rick Scott is doing what Rick Scott does best, protecting HIMSELF at any cost! Please people call your congressman, make your voice heard. This bill would limit YOUR right as a person to choose the pharmacy you want to fill your medications at and force you to go to where they tell you to go. In my book this is a violation of our Civil Rights!

Concerned Citizen

I always thought you had to have a prescription to get a prescribed medication filled; thus, how would limiting the pharmacies you can fill a prescription at have anything to do with limiting this epidemic? You have to control the source - the doctors of the "pill mills" that are pumping these prescriptions out by the hundreds everyday. Implement some standards upon the prescribing physicians; ie they should have specialty training in pain control to prescribe powerful narcotics to anyone that walks through their office doors.

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