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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Sen. Rene Garcia files bill amendment to eliminate prescription drug monitoring program



Senate President Mike Haridopolos has made it clear elimination of the prescription drug monitoring database is non-negotiable. But that didn't stop Sen. Rene Garcia, R-Hialeah, from filing an amendment to a bill on Friday that would repeal the database. SB1386, sponsored by Sen. Ellyn Bogdanoff, is scheduled to by heard Wednesday by the Senate health regulation committee, which Garcia chairs.  

Among other things, Bogdanoff's bill extends the deadline for creating the database. But Garcia wants to get rid of it altogether, citing privacy concerns.

"I have no doubt that it will be an uphill battle but I'm going to fight for it," Garcia said. "It's something that I truly believe in."

Sen. Mike Fasano, R-New Port Richey, also a member of the health regulation committee, has been a champion of the database. He is sponsoring a bill that will make it easier to prosecute pill peddlers and impose stiffer penalties on them.

Garcia said he likes the law enforcement concept, and would prefer to give that a chance before exposing Florida residents to a possible invasion of their privacy. A bill to eliminate the database is making its way through the House.

[Last modified: Friday, March 25, 2011 4:41pm]


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