5:14pm

Fri June 3, 2011
The Commonwealth

Florida Governor Cracks Down on Pill Mills

After initially fighting one of its key provisions, Florida Gov. Rick Scott signed a bill Friday aimed at cracking down on clinics that frivolously dispense pain pills, feeding a nationwide prescription drug abuse epidemic. "Florida will shed its title as the Oxy Express," Scott said at a bill signing ceremony in Tampa, according to the St. Petersburg Times. Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear reacted to the news by issuing a statement:

“Today, the state of Florida enacted a comprehensive bill that will help reduce the flow of illegal prescription drugs not just in their state, but also to surrounding states, including Kentucky. This bill strengthens Florida’s prescription drug monitoring database, increases penalties for overprescribing narcotics, and requires new permitting processes for all pharmacies. All these steps will not only help Florida attack the epidemic of prescription drug abuse, but will also help us save lives here in Kentucky.

"I have personally spoken with Gov. Rick Scott to encourage him to intensify his state’s efforts to shut down these ‘pill mills’ because they are killing Kentuckians. In our state alone, 82 people die every month from drug overdoses. We have acted aggressively by ramping up law enforcement, enacting new policy initiatives and improving prescription drug monitoring efforts to stop the devastating effects of prescription drug abuse, but we must have cooperation from surrounding states. Choking off the pill pipeline from Florida is a key element of our strategy.

"Today’s action in Florida is good news for Kentucky, and I applaud their legislature’s efforts.”