The implementation of a statewide Prescription Drug Monitoring Program didn’t come easily: Gov. Rick Scott opposed legislation requiring the creation of a drug-monitoring database, then later backtracked, lending his support. Funding for the database was also a sticking point. Because it can’t be funded by taxpayer dollars, the Drug Monitoring Program must rely on private donations and grant money — both of which are hard to come by in tough economic times.

One of the lesser-covered aspects of this year’s Drug Monitoring Program legislation is its buy-back program, which kicks off today.

As required by House Bill 7095 (the legislation authorizing the implementation of the database), the state surgeon general will declare a state of public emergency to begin the buy-back program. Controlled substances still in the possession of dispensing entities not exempted by the bill will be required to sell the drugs back to wholesalers or dispose of them via legal means (i.e. turn them over to law enforcement).

The program will run for 10 days and, on July 11, all drugs still in inventory will be considered contraband and will be seized by law enforcement. The Buy-Back must be completed by September, per the terms of a Florida Department of Law Enforcement contract.

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