Florida Governor Rick Scott to Sign “Pill Mill” Bill

Governor Rick Scott is scheduled to sign House Bill 7095, a bill that will implement a Prescription Drug Monitoring Program, in three ceremonies across Florida today.

The Governor’s schedule includes signing events at 9:00 a.m. at the Ft. Lauderdale Police Department, 12 noon at the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office and at 3:15 p.m. at the Orlando headquarters of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

The measure was a major priority of Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi and attempts to crack down on the rampant prescription drug abuse plaguing the state.

The bill imposes new criminal and administrative penalties for over-prescribing narcotics; bans doctors from dispensing narcotics, except for those in medical facilities such as surgical centers and hospices; and requires a new permitting process for pharmacies that sell medication such as oxycodone and other controlled substances.

HB 7095 also requires that pain clinics register with the state and sets out physical standards for clinics. All treatment facilities must have a public telephone number, a reception area, restroom and private treatment rooms.

The compromise also tightens the timeline – from 15 days to 7 — for doctors and pharmacies to report painkiller prescriptions to the state’s Prescription Drug Monitoring Program database, which is expected to be activated soon after a two-year delay. The intent is to make it easier to track patients who “doctor shop” to acquire multiple prescriptions for pain pills.