Gov. Scott signs ‘Pill Mill Bill’ he says will be ‘a model for the nation’
TALLAHASSEE — Governor Rick Scott Friday signed the so-called “Pill Mill Bill” which he said will “strike another major blow in the fight against the illegal distribution of prescription drugs.”
“I am proud to sign this bill which cracks down on the criminal abuse of prescription drugs,” said Scott. “This legislation will save lives in our state and it marks the beginning of the end of Florida’s infamous role as the nation’s Pill Mill Capital.”
He said the new law is as tough on illegal distributors and unscrupulous doctors as it is fair to law-abiding patients and industry professionals. It is a critical component in Scott’s effort to combat Florida’s scourge of prescription drug abuse.
Boca Raton city and police officials had been working on local legislation to combat a scourge of pill mills in the municipality. Leaders yielded to the state to come up with a law that would impact all of Florida.
In March, with the help of Attorney General Pam Bondi, Florida Department of Law Enforcement Commissioner Gerald Bailey and state and local law enforcement, Governor Scott launched the Statewide Drug Strike Force to begin turning the tide against criminal drug trafficking in the state.
HB 7095 tackles illegal prescription drug distribution at the source in several ways. It increases penalties for overprescribing Oxycodone, requires tracking of the wholesale distribution of certain controlled substances, and provides $3 million to support the continued efforts of state and local law enforcement and state prosecutors.
The bill also bans doctors from dispensing these controlled drugs except under specific circumstances, and provides for the declaration of a public health emergency which triggers a mandatory buyback program for doctors to give controlled substances back to distributors.
Ninety-eight of the nation’s top 100 Oxycodone purchasing physicians are in the state of Florida, Scott said. Drug overdoses are responsible for an alarming seven deaths a day in this state.