Florida introduces updated bill aimed at cracking down on prescription abuse

In recent weeks, a big topic of conversation in the legislative and medical communities has been the ongoing prescription drug epidemic in America. While many experts agree on the root causes, patients who go to any lengths necessary to abuse the drugs and doctors who accidentally or willfully overprescribe these medications, the specific steps that state governments should take to control the issue have been much-debated.

For example, House Bill 1143, a Florida regulation that aims to increase enforcement rules for doctors, was recently altered. The law originally called for the suspension of doctors who are facing criminal charges for prescribing narcotics to patients, but the revised version has been augmented to allow for their license to simply be restricted.

"The goal is to come up with something that gives the [Florida] Department of Health and the surgeon general the ability to make sure all prescribers out there understand what is available to the department if they choose to prescribe unethically, illegally, criminally and killing people from it,"  Rep. Fred Costello, a republican from Ormand Beach, Florida, told the Sunshine State News.

Under the proposed restriction guidelines, a doctor would have 20 days to demonstrate to a panel that they acted appropriately. But, some argue that the very threat of such an action could inhibit doctors from practicing to the best of their professional ability.

While the ultimate fate of the legislation still hangs in the balance, medical facilities in the state that want to adopt proactive solutions that can increase their medical practice management and overall patient care may want to invest in eprescribing software. As this software gives doctors and pharmacists the ability to coordinate and better record patient prescription data, this tool can help hospitals identify any of their workers who may be skirting the law.

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