FMA asking docs to use drug database

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Responding to a public plea from Sen. Mike Fasano, the Florida Medical Association said Thursday it is urging physicians to use the state’s new prescription drug database, reports the News Service of Florida.

The database will allow doctors to check information about drugs dispensed to patients. Supporters say it is a key tool in Florida’s efforts to curtail rampant prescription-drug abuse.

With doctors able to start using the database Oct. 17, Fasano wrote a letter last week asking the FMA to encourage its members to tap into it. FMA Executive Vice President Tim Stapleton responded Thursday with an assurance that the organization “fully supports” the implementation of the database.

“We agree with you that the drug database will save lives,” Stapleton wrote to Fasano, a New Port Richey Republican who has led efforts to fight prescription-drug abuse. “We will be providing information to our members about how they can access this important new tool.”

***Update***Senator Fasano’s ever-able staff emails me:

Both the FMA and the FOMA were vital advocates for the passage of the three bills that ultimately led to the creation of the database and the pill mill restrictions (SB 462- 2009, SB 2272 – 2010 and HB 7095 – 2011).  Senator Fasano thanks the Florida Medical Association and the Florida Osteopathic Medical Association for their continued support of E-FORSCE as well as their desire to educate and encourage their membership to utilize this important tool.
With the two major medical associations encouraging their members to consult the drug database when it goes online, Senator Fasano hopes that the three main goals of the database (saving lives, cutting down on doctor shopping and improving patient care) will have the greatest chance of being realized.  He looks forward to the day when the Florida Medical Examiner’s Report shows a steep decline in deaths that have a causal relationship to prescription drugs.  Physicians utilizing the database will be a major tool to be used to achieve that lifesaving goal.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.