Newly released statistics show that, even in its infancy, a statewide database created to monitor prescription drug use is proving successful in Florida.

As we reported last month, the records being uploaded into the database had increased nearly 10-fold between late October and Nov. 15, when records show that more than 19.5 million records had been uploaded to the database. As of Nov. 28, at least 21.8 million dispensing records had been uploaded to the database — a jump of 2 million in less than two weeks. Practitioner queries have also grown: from 10,850 patient advisory reports requested as of Oct. 25 to at least 160,071 as of Nov. 28.

With the help of the database, practitioners have approved more than 6,000 prescriptions and denied at least 590 (480 remain pending).

“Sen. [Mike] Fasano is pleased to see the increasing usage of the database, the growing number of practitioners seeking access, and the overall increase in patient records being sought,” says Fasano aide Greg Giordano. “In the month and half since the database went live for doctors, over 160,000 records have been requested.”

Giordano says that in time, “as the database becomes part and parcel of the practice of medicine,” its ultimate goal (that of saving lives) will be realized. Fasano recently filed a bill that would “tweak” the database, making its use by those prescribing medication mandatory.

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