Orlando Sentinel, September 1, 2011

Florida's prescription-drug-monitoring database, which advocates say will help discourage doctor shopping and deter physicians from over-prescribing, is slated to launch today -- after an effort by Gov. Rick Scott earlier this year to kill the program. Supporters of the database have touted it as a key tool in combating Florida's prescription-drug epidemic. Law enforcers say one of the reasons so many drug abusers and dealers travel to Florida for their prescriptions is because their home state already has a similar monitoring program. In Florida, abusers have been able to buy powerful, addictive painkillers and sedatives at medical clinics with relative ease. They can pay for their visits with cash and often receive little or no true medical evaluation at the rogue clinics, known as pill mills. Last year, 90 of the top 100 oxycodone-purchasing doctors in the nation were from Florida. Supporters of the database contend tracking prescribing history in Florida will deter drug abusers and unscrupulous physicians.

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