Though the program was only recently implemented, state Sen. Mike Fasano, R-New Port Richey, has filed a bill to tweak Florida’s prescription drug monitoring database, known as E-FORCSE.
Senate Bill 904, which Fasano’s team has dubbed the pill mill “glitch” or “tweak” bill, would primarily alter some of the minor statutes of last session’s House Bill 7095, which created tough administrative and criminal penalties for doctors who overprescribe narcotics.
According to Fasano aide Greg Giordano, the bill also contains substantive provisions that would give pharmacists and doctors more tools to fight doctor shopping.
904 requires that a prescriber consult the database and review the patient’s history, before writing prescriptions for certain drugs, and then make a notation on the face of that prescription, indicating that the consultation took place. If the prescription contains no such notation, the pharmacist filling it must also consult the database. The pharmacist would also be required to consult the database if he or she doesn’t already have a history with the patient being prescribed a controlled substance.
According to Fasano, those requirements would make it easier for pharmacists and practitioners to thwart the practice commonly known as”doctor shopping.”
Among the bill’s other requirements is a provision to require pharmacists who come across a prescription they believe was obtained through illegal means (i.e. though fraud or forgery) to file a report with the police department.
Shortly after a ban on dispensing prescriptions from doctor’s offices was enacted, Florida saw a spike in independent pharmacy applications, which some worried could be due in large part to pill mill operators who were no longer able to dispense from their place of business.
“The legislation allows pharmacy applications to be denied if the name of the person seeking a license is on the List of Excluded Individuals and Entities that is maintained by the United States Department of Health and Human Services [and] Office of Inspector General,” says Giordano. “This red flag should stop anyone from getting a pharmacy license if they have a reason to be on that list.”
According to Giordano, Fasano calls these latest provisions “the natural next steps in the fight to keep diverted prescription drugs from Florida’s street,” and says he will continue the fight to eradicate prescription drug abuse by “making it is a difficult as possible for someone to fraudulently obtain prescriptions that they do not need, while continuing to allow legitimate pain patients access to the medications they require.”