Florida Wants To Control Painkiller Prescriptions Because So Many People Are Overdosing

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Steve Birr Vice Reporter
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Officials in Florida are attempting to cut down on prescription drug abuse rates by placing a strict limit on opioid painkiller scripts for first time fills.

Republican state Sen. Aaron Bean filed a bill Monday that puts a seven-day limit on the initial prescriptions of opioids to a patient for short-term pain management. The proposal aims to reduce the number of people that become unwittingly addicted to opioid painkillers after being prescribed the potent drugs by a doctor, reports the Sun Sentinel.

The bill will allow doctors to prescribe up to a 30-day supply of opioid painkillers for script renewals. It will also require doctors to run patient names through Florida’s prescription drug monitoring database before issuing prescriptions to cut down on patient doctor shopping.

Republican Gov. Rick Scott recently proposed similar limits on opioid prescriptions, but with much tighter control. Scott suggested placing a three-day limit on opioids, with seven-day prescriptions allowed only under special circumstances. Bean’s bill, however, is the only legislation dealing with prescription limits currently filed in the Florida Legislature.

The president of Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America praised the efforts to crack down on prescribing habits in Florida. The organization joined President Donald Trump’s opioid commission Sept. 27 to announce the company’s commitment to limiting prescription opioid supplies to a seven-day limit. The pharmaceutical industry has typically advised 30-day supplies for painkillers, something experts say increases the risk of addiction and long-term abuse of the drugs.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, the leader of the White House opioid commission, applauded the actions, saying these kinds of reforms are key to ensuring that “we don’t turn people into addicts inadvertently.”

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