After a hold-up because of a request from Senate President Mike Haridopolos' office to carve out workers compensation doctors from a physician dispensing ban, it looks like there's a deal between the House and Senate on a pill mill bill. Word is that Haridopolos, Attorney General Pam Bondi and House Speaker Dean Cannon agreed to the following:
* New administrative and criminal penalties for overprescribing narcotics; * A strengthening of the prescription drug monitoring database by changing reporting requirements from 15 to seven days;* A background check requirement for the manager and support staff involved with the database;* Removal of the 5,000 monthly dosage cap that pharmacies can prescribe, but a requirement that the Department of Health study an appropriate cap;* A dispensing ban for physicians, except for surgical procedures, methadone clinics, clinical trials, and hospice; * A mandatory buy-back program for doctors to return controlled substances to distributors;* Requirement that pharmacies go through new rigorous permitting by July 2012;* Tracking of wholesale distribution of controlled substances;* Appropriation of $3 million for local law enforcement to enact new provisions
The deal is a compromise from proposals unveiled early in the session, with the House (and Gov. Rick Scott) giving in on their plan to kill the prescription drug monitoring database and institute a dosage limit right away, and the Senate agreeing to the physician dispensing ban with a few exceptions.