Pubdate: Fri, 18 Mar 2011
Source: Florida Today (Melbourne, FL)
Copyright: 2011 Florida Today
Bookmark: (Opinion)


Keep Pill-Mill Monitoring Database on Florida's Books

Good for Senate President Mike Haridopolos, who is standing by his
convictions on Florida joining 34 other states that have set up
pill-mill monitoring databases to crack down on drug abuse and crime.

The Legislature approved the database in 2009 to combat the Sunshine
State's reputation as the illegal drug prescription capital of the
nation and the rising death toll from abuse of drugs such as oxycodone.

Pill-mill doctors illegally prescribe the narcotics to addicts, many
of whom come to Florida from out of state to shop for stacks of

The mills are a plague in South Florida, but the evil is spreading
north, including to the Space Coast, which is why the database has the
strong support of Brevard County Sheriff Jack Parker and other law
enforcement leaders.

And why communities such as Titusville and Palm Bay have clamped down
on pain clinics they suspect dole out the illegal drugs.

Gov. Rick Scott wants to kill the database, saying it's too costly
and would be ineffective, but those are red herrings. Federal grants
and private-sector dollars will pay for the monitoring system, and
states using the databases say they work well.

But Haridopolos is now also battling GOP House Speaker Dean Cannon and
other House representatives who have flip-flopped and want to repeal
the program.

The Merritt Island Republican says the Senate has "no interest
whatsoever" in scrapping the mandate for the database already in
state law.

He should use his sway in Tallahassee to get it up and running soon so
the fight against the prescription-drug scourge that's badly harming
families and communities can be harder fought.  
- ---
MAP posted-by: Richard Lake