1:32pm

Tue October 18, 2011
Science/Health

Florida Docs can now Check Patients' Pill Use

Florida has finally implemented an electronic database where the state's doctors can check their patients' prescription drug history. It's hoped the information will curb doctor shopping and other pain pill abuses.  The Palm Beach Post reported that the Electronic Florida Online Reporting of Controlled Substances Evaluation system went online Monday. The bill establishing the system was nearly killed by Florida's Republican governor and other influential GOP lawmakers.

Since the registration process began on Oct. 1, some 1,500 of Florida's 70,000 medical professionals who can prescribe medications have signed up to use the system. In addition, police and prosecutors can also access the information when they are working drug-related cases.

The Palm Beach Post reported that medical professional organizations in the state are encouraging their members to use the program.

The move toward implementation of such a database began almost 10 years and encountered several roadblocks before finally being implemented this week.

Residents from a number of states, including Kentucky, have been making frequent trips to Florida pain clinics in recent years to buy pain medications either for their personal use or for resale. It's hoped the new Florida law will curb the source of pain medications among those misusing the drugs.