PAD 3003 – 02
Dr. Tracy Banner
June 8, 2011
Analysis of House Bill 7095:
House Bill 7095, relating to Prescription Drugs or more commonly known as the “Pill Mill Bill” was passed by the Florida Legislature on May 6, 2011, and signed by Governor Rick Scott on June 3, 2011. In essence, H.B. 7095 regulates all facets of the prescribing and dispensing of pain killers and controlled substances, from distributors all the way to pharmacists and doctors. One of the main aspects of the bill is its enforcement of s. 456.44 F.S.; which deals with the dispensing of prescription drugs such as pain killers and controlled substances; by making it a third-degree felony for not abide by the requirements set forth by H.B. 7095. In addition to the penalties H.B. 7095 may issue it also provides other measures to combat the “pill mills” such as the required use of state-approved counterfeit-proof prescription pads, requiring to keep and make available the prescription history of prescribed patients, limiting the amount of controlled substances that can be distributed to pharmacies, and not allowing physicians to dispense controlled substances or pain killers except for emergency purposes.
The “Pill Mill Bill” or H.B. 7095 was a bill of great importance during this past legislative session receiving significant support from both Attorney General Pam Bondi and Governor Rick Scott and its value was demonstrated as both the House and the Senate passed H.B. 7095 unanimously (LobbyTools, 2011). Prescription drug abuse of both controlled substances and pain killers in Florida has intensified over the years to the point where Governor Scott’s administration felt the only option was to pass legislature in order to curtail the drug abuse. Another significant problem with controlled substances and pain killers was the ease one could receive prescriptions for them within the state, which is what led to the abuse in the first place. Florida became known as “Oxy Express” (Zink & George, 2011), with people coming from all over to be prescribed controlled substances and pain killers due to the lack of difficulty one would have with obtaining prescription drugs in the state. The state received enormous pressure from around the nation to pass legislation in order to regulate the prescription drugs as our pharmacies and clinics were prescribing and dispensing controlled substances and pain killers to addicts from all over the United States.
The Florida Comprehensive Drug Abuse and Prevention Control Act (893.03 F.S.), provides a set of groupings otherwise known as schedules to classify the different controlled substances by characteristics as well as its potential for abuse (Thomas, 2011). These schedules (I, II, III, IV, and V) streamlined manufacturing, distributing, and prescribing the different controlled substances. The lower the schedule the higher the potential for abuse is and the lower the medical uses are for those particular substances. The non-medical abuse of these substances (schedules I &II) is what’s causing an alarm across the nation. Pain clinics or “Pill Mills” as they were known, were known to dispense some of these controlled substances without asking for much more than a simple prescription without checking the validity of the patient or the prescription. In 2009, the State Attorney for Broward County asked a grand jury to consider the effect of controlled substance abuse and pain clinics and what maybe some solutions to curtail abuse, some of that grand jury’s findings have directly impacted some of the legislation within H.B. 7095 (Thomas, 2011).
H.B. 7095 is attempting to deter and decrease the rampant abuse of prescription drugs that is plaguing not only the state of Florida but the nation as a whole. The abuse of prescription drugs and controlled has come to...