With 2,710 deaths resulting in prescription drug overdoses last year, and after a bitter 10-year political debate, a Florida pain-pill database was launched on October 18. The purpose of enacting this new computer system is to help the medical community curtail drug addicts and traffickers from obtaining large quantities of pain pills. Unfortunately, Florida is one of the top states for illegal pain pill transactions in the southeast.
One of the proposed benefits of the system is to give doctors the ability to look up if a patient has gotten a prescription medication elsewhere – a crime recently named “doctor shopping.”
But some experts have observed the system’s loopholes. For example, pharmacies have seven days to report the prescriptions they fill, and according to those in opposition, that’s plenty of time for a person to obtain more drugs from another provider. In addition, doctors and pharmacists are not required to check patients into the system before writing or filling a prescription.
So how will this system affect those who legally and medically need prescription drugs? If you’re doctor or pharmacy is participating in the system, then your information along with your prescription will be filed and tracked by the Florida Department of Health.
Florida is the 39th state to enact a pain-pill database, and the obvious goal is to stop illegal prescription drug use. However, only time and participation from the medical community will tell if the database will stunt this life-threatening criminal activity.