Gov. Rick Scott is slated to sign House Bill 7095, a bill that will implement a Prescription Drug Monitoring Program in the state, in three ceremonies across the state on Friday. The ceremonial signings will take place in Tampa, Orlando and Fort Lauderdale.
The so-called “pill mill bill” was highly contentious since its introduction — with Scott initially opposed to a pill-tracking database he argued would be too costly and invasive for Florida citizens. The bill’s sponsor, state Sen. Mike Fasano, R-New Port Richey, traded barbed words with Scott’s team over the bill, arguing that some funding, through grants and private donations, had already been secured. Fasano has long supported a measure to crack down on the state’s notorious prescription drug abuse problem, and fought tooth and nail for the bill’s passage.
Scott and other opponents eventually shifted positions on the database and, after much compromise, the bill eventually passed. H.B. 7095 shortens the timeline (from 15 to seven days) to report painkiller prescriptions to the state database, and also places harsher restrictions on those who over-prescribe narcotics and requires a new permit for pharmacies selling stronger medications like oxycodone.