State Sen. Mike Fasano’s so-called “pill mill bill,” which would create harsher punishments for pill mill operators and require that all doctors be trained in how to use the state’s Prescription Drug Monitoring Program, has undergone several changes in the past week.

Fasano said on the floor yesterday that he would be filing a strike-all amendment that would essentially replace the state House’s bill with his own legislation, S.B. 818 (.pdf) and the newly adopted amendments that were introduced in his name.

The amendments would enhance penalties for failing to perform physical exams of patients and for failing to properly document the need for controlled substances, as well as strengthen penalties attached to registering a pain clinic through fraudulent means. Those penalties, which currently apply to medical doctors, would also apply to osteopathic physicians.

Fasano also filed an amendment that would clarify the manner in which licensed dentists can purchase medical supplies and prescription drugs. New language was also added to strengthen the section regarding tamper-resistant medication.

Today, Fasano filed yet another amendment, which would restore the provision prohibiting state dollars from being used to fund the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program, a database that tracks pain pill prescriptions.

“The senator believes that with the commitment of Attorney General Pam Bondi and law enforcement officers from around the state, as well as federal grants and private donations: There should be adequate funding sources for the PDMP,” says Greg Giordano, Fasano’s chief legislative aide.

Funding for the Drug Monitoring Program has proved to be one of the biggest hurdles to its implementation.

Originally, the program would have been funded by strictly private donations and federal grants. But a recent announcement about the availability of those grants has concerned many of the database’s supporters. Fortunately for Fasano and others like him, the PDMP Foundation — a nonprofit created to raise money for the database — already has $1.3 million set aside.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like

Pro-choice advocates say Trujillo bill threatens to “chip away” at Roe v. Wade

House bill 321, the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, filed yesterday by state Rep. Carlos Trujillo, R-Miami, represents the first time the Florida legislature has filed a bill to restrict abortion beyond 20 weeks. Pro-choice advocates say a national movement to pass similar bills in other states amounts to an effort to weaken Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that limited states' abilities to restrict abortion.

Sarasota ensnared in ‘Defeat Obama’ sign controversy

The city of Sarasota has become ensnared in controversy over a large, Defeat Obama in 2012 sign that has been placed on private property at one of the town's most visible intersections. A city attorney has responded to requests to remove the sign by arguing that, because it doesn't endorse a specific candidate or political party, the sign isn't actually an election sign and will stay up.

Turning the screw on unemployment compensation

The Florida House of Representatives moved a step closer to tightening the state's unemployment compensation system on Thursday. The measure would make it more difficult for claimants to receive benefits, reduce employers' contributions to the unemployment trust fund and lower the maximum number of weeks benefits are available from 26 to 20.