Prescription monitoring fails again in Florida

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted May 17, 2004

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For the third year in a row and despite strong support from Gov. Jeb Bush, Florida state legislators failed to pass a bill which would have created a prescription-monitoring database.

State officials report that there were 3,324 deaths related to prescription drug abuse in 2002, and Bush and others said the database would help reduce that number.

"There are more people that die in Florida from prescription drug abuse than die from cocaine and heroin abuse combined," said state Rep. Gayle Harrell, sponsor of the database bill and the spouse of a physician.

Others, however, argued that the plan was too broad and constituted a breach of privacy. These opponents included Harrell's fellow Republican from Stuart, state Rep. Joe Negron, who called the plan a "sweeping threat to civil liberties" and told the Gainesville Sun, "There's a reason when you go to the doctor's office they shut the door."

Note: This item originally appeared at

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