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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Deal reportedly reached on pill mill bill

After a hold-up because of a request from Senate President Mike Haridopolos' office to carve out workers compensation doctors from a physician dispensing ban, it looks like there's a deal between the House and Senate on a pill mill bill. Word is that Haridopolos, Attorney General Pam Bondi and House Speaker Dean Cannon agreed to the following: 

* New administrative and criminal penalties for overprescribing narcotics; 
* A strengthening of the prescription drug monitoring database by changing reporting requirements from 15 to seven days;
* A background check requirement for the manager and support staff involved with the database;
* Removal of the 5,000 monthly dosage cap that pharmacies can prescribe, but a requirement that the Department of Health study an appropriate cap;
* A dispensing ban for physicians, except for surgical procedures, methadone clinics, clinical trials, and hospice; 
* A mandatory buy-back program for doctors to return controlled substances to distributors;
* Requirement that pharmacies go through new rigorous permitting by July 2012;
* Tracking of wholesale distribution of controlled substances;
* Appropriation of $3 million for local law enforcement to enact new provisions

The deal is a compromise from proposals unveiled early in the session, with the House (and Gov. Rick Scott) giving in on their plan to kill the prescription drug monitoring database and institute a dosage limit right away, and the Senate agreeing to the physician dispensing ban with a few exceptions.

[Last modified: Friday, May 6, 2011 10:31am]


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