Floridians will see a few new changes in the New Year as three laws take effect starting Jan. 1. Two of those laws deal with accessibility to pharmaceuticals, and the other allows financial institutions to establish a location or agent for services of process.
Minimum wage across Florida will also go up 5 cents to $8.10 starting Sunday.
There are two kinds of opioid painkiller drug products mentioned in this law’s language: one type with abuse-deterrent labels, and one without. Abuse-deterrent labeling is put on a drug that has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to claim that the drug is expected to deter prescription drug abuse.
SB 422 states that health insurance policies that cover opioid painkillers cannot require the use of non-labeled opioid products over those products that do have the labeling. Also, only if insurance policies already have a pre-authorization requirement for opioid painkillers without the abuse-deterrent labeling, they can impose the same requirement for painkillers with the labeling.
According to a Herald/Times analysis, opponents of the law said it clears the way for the creation of a new market in the pharmaceutical industry. But, in the language, the Legislature said that opioid abuse is a “serious problem” and that it’s “imperative for people suffering from pain to obtain the relief they need while maintaining the potential for negative consequences.”
The language in the law also cites that the amount of prescription drug overdoses has quadrupled since 1999 and 2.1 million Americans were addicted to prescription painkillers in 2012.
The bill was passed unanimously in the House and Senate, and was approved by Gov. Rick Scott on March 25.
Another drug-related law, SB 938, prohibits manufacturers, distributors, retailers or its employees from selling a drug product with the ingredient dextromethorphan to minors.
Dextromethorphan is found in many cough medicines like Robitussin and NyQuil and is the active ingredient that gives a high to those who abuse it.
Those presumed to be between the ages of 18 and 25 must show ID to prove their ages. Those who sell or minors who buy drugs containing dextromethorphan in violation of this law will be imposed a civil citation of no more than $100 for each infraction.
The bill passed the Senate 39-1 and the House 115-2. Gov. Scott approved the law on April 1.
This law creates S. 48.092, which states that financial institutions must be in accordance with the existing S. 655.0201, which has been amended. The law allows financial institutions to establish a single location or agent for delivery of services of process, notice, levy or demand. Certain financial institutions can use a place or registered state agent in the Department of State for those services, which include things like summonses or subpoenas.
SB 1104 passed unanimously in the Senate and House, and was approved by Gov. Scott on April 1.