Fasano asks Gov. Scott to ease funding restrictions on drug database
As Florida's fledgling prescription drug monitoring program faces a potential funding shortfall, the state senator who pushed for the database is now asking Gov. Rick Scott to support ending restrictions that keep pharmaceutical companies from donating money.
Florida law currently prohibits the use of state funds or money from drug companies to support the operation of the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program, created in 2009 as an effort to curb prescription drug abuse and "doctor shopping."
Sen. Mike Fasano, R-New Port Richey, was the lead supporter of the database in the Legislature.The Florida Sheriff's Association will push for an amendment to state law to allow private companies to support the database, Fasano said in a letter to Scott today.
The governor initially expressed concern about the database, saying it could compromise patient confidentiality. The tea party and some Republicans also voiced opposition to the database early on. Under Scott's urging, private companies that pledged money to support the database were barred from donating, Fasano's letter said.
The senator said that current funding for the database will run out in January, and he urged Scott to help find money for a short-term fix. But he said allowing pharmaceutical companies to make donations would be a long-term solution to the money issue.