Florida approves drug monitoring program

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted July 6, 2009

Print  |   Email  |   Respond  |   Reprints  |   Like Facebook  |   Share Twitter  |   Tweet Linkedin

Florida became the 39th state to adopt prescription drug monitoring laws when Gov. Charlie Crist signed a bill into law in June authorizing the program meant to help combat prescription drug abuse in the state.

Florida has been considered among the worst states for prescription drug abuse. The state's rate of deaths caused by prescription drugs is three times that of illegal drugs. The newly appointed federal drug czar, R. Gil Kerlikowske, spent most of his law enforcement career in Florida and used the state as an example in a recent speech calling for similar laws in all 50 states.

The law calls for the creation of a database where pharmacists enter the names of all patients filling prescriptions for controlled substances. Physicians can use the database to help identify so-called doctor shoppers who go from practice to practice to obtain multiple prescriptions in order to sell or abuse the drugs.

There was some concern that a recent incident in Virginia might halt efforts for a monitoring program in other states. A hacker or group of hackers vandalized Virginia's monitoring program Web site and posted a note there claiming to have the records of more than 8 million patients. The incident is under investigation.

When the program will start in Florida remains unclear. The state is working to secure funding to create and maintain the tracking system.

Note: This item originally appeared at

Back to top



Read story

Confronting bias against obese patients

Medical educators are starting to raise awareness about how weight-related stigma can impair patient-physician communication and the treatment of obesity. Read story

Read story


American Medical News is ceasing publication after 55 years of serving physicians by keeping them informed of their rapidly changing profession. Read story

Read story

Policing medical practice employees after work

Doctors can try to regulate staff actions outside the office, but they must watch what they try to stamp out and how they do it. Read story

Read story

Diabetes prevention: Set on a course for lifestyle change

The YMCA's evidence-based program is helping prediabetic patients eat right, get active and lose weight. Read story

Read story

Medicaid's muddled preventive care picture

The health system reform law promises no-cost coverage of a lengthy list of screenings and other prevention services, but some beneficiaries still might miss out. Read story

Read story

How to get tax breaks for your medical practice

Federal, state and local governments offer doctors incentives because practices are recognized as economic engines. But physicians must know how and where to find them. Read story

Read story

Advance pay ACOs: A down payment on Medicare's future

Accountable care organizations that pay doctors up-front bring practice improvements, but it's unclear yet if program actuaries will see a return on investment. Read story

Read story

Physician liability: Your team, your legal risk

When health care team members drop the ball, it's often doctors who end up in court. How can physicians improve such care and avoid risks? Read story

  • Stay informed
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • RSS
  • LinkedIn