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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Mike Fasano files pill mill bill



Sen. Mike Fasano, R-New Port Richey, today filed a bill to address Florida's pill mill crisis. The bill includes recommendations made yesterday by Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi as she unveiled her multi-pronged strategy to combat the state's prescription drug abuse epidemic. Fasano also added a few extra provisions. One would add penalties for crushing and then injecting or inhaling pain pills (as many addicts do) if not explicity directed to do so by a physician, and another would penalize physicians who direct patients to ingest the drugs in that manner if it's not medically necessary. Yet another provision would change reporting requirements to the state's Prescription Drug Monitoring Program so that the program would be eligible for federal funding. As it is now, the PDMP has no state funding.

"The only way we could get it passed was if we didn't fund it," Fasano said. The state's Office of Drug Control created a foundation to raise money for the program. But Gov. Rick Scott eliminated that office, which Fasano said also helped craft the language regarding injecting pain meds. The loss of that office is huge for the state, Fasano said, but he praised Bondi for taking up the charge.

"Her office has pretty much turned into the Office of Drug Control by going after these unscrupulous characters," he said.


[Last modified: Friday, February 4, 2011 3:44pm]


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