Florida House Passes Bill to Combat Opioid Epidemic

The Florida House has passed legislation to combat the state's opioid epidemic.

The bill (HB 21) heads to the Florida Senate after passing unanimously on Thursday. It would impose new restrictions on prescriptions.

Most initial prescriptions would have a limit of three days, but doctors could prescribe up to seven days for acute pain exceptions. The bill though does not place medication limits for trauma cases, which is something that is not in the Florida Senate's bill. It also doesn't cover cases of chronic pain or cancer.

Rep. Julio Gonzalez, who is an orthopedic surgeon, says he hopes that the limit for acute pain exceptions, such as major surgeries, can possibly be expanded to 10 days.

Gov. Rick Scott declared the opioid epidemic a public health emergency last May and has made it one of his legislative priorities.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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