As of Wednesday, any time a person in Florida receives a prescription medication, his name and his doctor’s name will be entered into a prescription drug-monitoring database that aims to reduce doctor shopping and deter physicians from over-prescribing.
The Orlando Sentinel reports that supporters of the database hope it’ll go a long way toward fighting Florida’s prescription drug problem, which has flourished in recent years. Powerful, addictive prescription drugs have become readily available in the Sunshine State, so much so that law enforcers now say that abusers and dealers travel to Florida to stock up.
Little to no regulation on prescription drugs has made it easier for Florida doctors to be lax, too. In 2010 90 of the top 100 oxycodone-purchasing doctors practiced medicine in Florida.
The creation of this database was signed into law by Governor Charlie Christ in 2009, and though it was supposed to be ready last year it was delayed by disputes about patient-privacy.
“It’s long overdue,” said Senator Mike Fasano. “But I’m very pleased that it’s going to happen … I believe that once this is up and running for a while, that we will actually start seeing a reduction in doctor shopping. You will see a reduction in people using false prescriptions, imitation prescriptions. The state of Florida will see lives being saved.”
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