Legislature taking credit for dramatic reduction of OxyCodone purchases in Florida

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Nearly one year after passing landmark prescription drug abuse reforms to crack down on “pill mills,” a new report from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency has found that the purchase of oxycodone is rapidly declining in Florida.

“Florida was previously the nation’s capital for prescription drug abuse, but thanks to critical reform measures spearheaded by the Florida Legislature, prescription drug abuse continues to fall,” said Health and Human Services Committee Chairman Robert Schenck (R-Spring Hill). “For too long, the lives of Floridians have been stolen by bad actors who profit from prescription drug abuse. I am pleased to see our legislation is helping to reduce the incidence of illegal prescription drug purchases around the state.”

According to the report, the number of oxycodone pills purchased by Florida doctors has declined by 97 percent from 2010 to 2011. Last year, Governor Rick Scott signed a measure passed by the Florida Legislature to curb prescription drug abuse statewide. The bill was sponsored by Representative Schenck and supported Attorney General Pam Bondi, House Speaker Dean Cannon and Senate President Mike Haridopolos.

The report also found a 14 percent drop in Florida pharmacy purchases of oxycodone. For more information, you can access the results of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency report online.

The comprehensive prescription drug abuse reforms passed in 2011 established credentialing requirements for those who prescribe prescription drugs and distribution limits for distributors of controlled substances. Additionally, the legislation established criminal penalties related to unlawful dispensing, theft and failure to report the loss of controlled substances.

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.