Dept. of Health will start prescription drug tracking database despite Gov. Scott's objections

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The Department of Health issued an order Friday that clears the way for the state? prescription drug tracking database to move forward, despite the objections of Gov. Rick Scott and some lawmakers, reports the News Service of Florida. The database was envisioned as a tool in the fight against prescription abuse by doctor shoppers at pain clinics, which have become a problem not just for Florida, but for other states where officials say their residents are driving to Florida for easy pain pill access. The database, to be able to see when the same person is getting large quantities of pain pills at different clinics, was created by lawmakers in 2009 and scheduled to start this past December, but got tied up in a bid dispute between vendors. That dispute has now been cleared up. But there? been a move in the Legislature, backed by Scott, to prevent it from being used. State officials said the database could be implemented quickly. ?topping pill mills has been my top priority since I took office, and the prescription drug monitoring program that the Department of Health will now be implementing is an important tool in combating this crisis,?Attorney General Pam Bondi said in a statement. ?s part of a criminal investigation, the program will enable law enforcement to act more quickly in identifying and arresting pill mill operators.?Senate President Mike Haridopolos is a backer of the database and applauded Friday? development. The database will provide ?hock and awe?in Florida? efforts to end the criminal abuse of legal prescription drugs,?said Haridopolos. ?The database will be an effective tool to help law enforcement. The illegal use of prescription drugs is a plight on our state and touches people from all walks of life. We will use the full resources of Florida to tackle this problem.?]>

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