Crist Puts the Cap on Pill Popping

A new prescription drug tracking system may plug the pill pipeline leaving the state

Gov. Charlie Crist signed a new law Thursday that will set up a prescription drug tracking system designed to reduce, if not  end, Florida's role as the nation's leading supplier of drugs for illicit purposes.

It will crack down on "doctor shopping" by addicts and drug dealers who flock to the state for pills, Crist said.

The state's reputation as pill pusher to the nation is well known and South Florida may be the mecca for pain medication addicts. Broward pain clinics sell about a million pills a month, more than anywhere else in the country.

Under the new law, pain clinics, pharmacies and doctors' offices that dispense pain drugs must log into a state computer database with the details of every prescription filled. This would prevent drug dealers and addicts from going from office to office amassing drug stockpiles.

State regulators will also be able to inspect pain clinics like never before, particiularly ones owned by investors instead of physicians.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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