A statewide prescription drug monitoring program continues to be successful in Florida, where it was only recently implemented. The latest stats on the database, known as E-FORCSE, show that the number of practitioners using it has grown significantly in the past month — even though its use isn’t yet mandated by law.

The database has long been championed by state Sen. Mike Fasano, R-New Port Richey, who introduced a so-called “pill mill bill” earlier this year to 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. A new bill filed by Fasano aims to “tweak” the database and would require that a prescriber consult the database and review the patient’s history before writing prescriptions for certain drugs. (The practitioner would then be required to make a notation on the face of that prescription, indicating that the consultation took place.)

Recently published stats reveal that the database is quickly gaining users. As of Nov. 15, more than 19.5 million records have been uploaded to the database and practitioners have the reports of over 101,000 patients — a major jump since October.

“As of Oct. 25 there were 10,850 patient advisory reports requested,” says Fasano aide Greg Giordano. “Less than one month later that number has increased nearly tenfold. It is evident that the campaign to encourage doctors to consult the database is working. Sen. Fasano applauds all practitioners who take the time to look at the PDMP. They are helping make Florida a safer place.”

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