Orlando Sentinel, March 7, 2011
When White House drug czar Gil Kerlikowske recently toured Appalachia, he met with 14 imprisoned women who were in drug treatment, 13 of whom were being treated for prescription-drug use. Kerlikowske asked the women how many had been to Florida to get their drugs. "Thirteen of the 14 raised their hand," Kerlikowske said. So it may be no surprise that Kerlikowske has an interest in what Florida --- considered a key supply source for prescription drugs--- does to help combat the epidemic. The debate over how to tackle the prescription-drug problem in Florida was renewed last month when Gov. Rick Scott proposed eliminating the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program, a stalled, yet much-anticipated database touted as one of the best tools for fighting the crisis. Kerlikowske recently requested a meeting with Scott, but as of Friday, the governor had not obliged.