Senate seeking pill mill compromise

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The Senate sponsor of a bill to target unscrupulous pain clinics said Tuesday he has sent a proposed compromise to the House, as the chambers try to agree on a plan to curb prescription-drug abuse, reports the News Service of Florida. Sen. Mike Fasano, R-New Port Richey, said the compromise would eliminate a House proposal to ban drug wholesalers from selling to a retail pharmacy more than 5,000 ?nit doses?a month each of Oxycodone, hydrocodone or other types of often-abused drugs. Critics of the ban, which is included in a bill that the House approved last month, say some pharmacies legitimately dispense far more than 5,000 unit doses a month. Meanwhile, Fasano said the Senate would go along with a House proposal to bar the use of contributions from the pharmaceutical industry to help fund a prescription-drug database. Also, he has dropped a proposal to allow the use of state money for the controversial database. Lawmakers approved the database in 2009 to help track sales of controlled substances but required that it be privately funded. Earlier this year, the drug company Purdue Pharma offered to contribute $1 million to the database, which has not started operating. Prescription-drug abuse has become a huge issue in Florida in recent years, with unscrupulous clinics supplying or prescribing drugs to addicts and traffickers. The House and Senate would need to approve a compromise before the legislative session ends Friday.

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