Gov. Scott Wants To Kill ‘Pill Mill’ Database

TALLAHASSEE (CBS4) – South Florida is known as the “pill mill” capital; yet Gov. Rick Scott wants to repeal the state’s yet-to-be-implemented prescription drug tracking law that’s designed to crack down on “pill mills.”

Gov. Scott wants to eliminate a computer system aimed at curbing the illegal sale of prescription drugs at storefront pain clinics, a move that alarmed narcotics investigators, drug-treatment advocates and some lawmakers.

Businesses in Oakland Park say the pill mills and pain clinics have done more than just wreck the reputation of their city. Business owner Norma Dauer said the mills attract crime and destroy neighborhoods.

“I’m mad at the governor,” Dauer said. “Seven to eight people are dying every day from these pills.”

Scott, however, has defended his proposal to eliminate the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program and the Office of Drug Control. Scott spokesman Brian Hughes said that the electronic monitoring delayed by contract challenges, may not be as effective as advocates claim. The governor also was worried it might infringe on patients’ privacy, he said.

The proposed repeal, though, drew sharp opposition from the Florida Academy of Pain Medicine. The doctors’ group issued a statement saying such a system would be “the single most effective weapon in the battle to shut down Florida’s so-called “pill mills.'”

The repeal also drew the ire of Broward County Sheriff Al Lamberti, who has to fight the pill mills that pop up almost every day.

“When I was appointed in 2007, there were four pain clinics; now there are 130,” Lamberti said. “There are more pain clinics than McDonald’s.”

The issue is so important to Lamberti that he helped raise money to get the prescription drug monitoring program implemented.

“Thirty-eight states have it (drug monitoring system) in place,” Lamberti said. “Florida is one of 12 that doesn’t; and that’s the reason why we’re ground zero.”

Lamberti added that if the system was up and running it would help eliminate doctor shopping and going from clinic to clinic to get their fix of pain killers.

Diane Moore, another business owner in Broward county, said the pill mills force her to play traffic enforcer outside her business. Her shop is next door to what investigators call one of the busiest pain clinics in the county.

“They (the users) throw up in my parking lot, one guy they took away in an ambulance,” Moore said. “They do drug deals right here.”

Scott’s spokesperson said that the governor supports tougher criminal and civil penalties as “a more effective way to fight this.”

Lawmakers never provided money for the system, instead directing the governor’s drug control office to raise private contributions. One of the first things Scott did after becoming governor last month was to disband the drug office.

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi declined to criticize the repeal proposal by Scott, a fellow Republican.

In a statement she noted her focus is on stronger penalties but added that a properly implemented monitoring system “could be an important additional tool to address prescription drug abuse.”

(©2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

Comments

One Comment

  1. lmrg78 says:

    I have absolutely no problem with the state monitoring my pill intake. I have nothing to hide and nothing to worry about. Please do not kill the “pill mill” database governor Scott.

  2. Mike says:

    Drug dealers get out of jail after a couple months anyway.
    Why not let the punishment fit the crime for a change. Put all drog dealers in jail for a minium of ten years. If the jails are over crowded then set up tents for them in the exersice yards. Take away TVs and their weights..
    Feed them Tuna fish sandwiches 3 times a day.
    Bet Ya after they finish their ten years they will either grow gills our never want to go back to jail.

    1. Tom W. says:

      Make the punishment fit the crime? When I smoke a joint or pop a pill, there is no victim my friend, except maybe myself if I abuse them.

      Didn’t you people ever learn anything from alcohol prohibition? Cops say legalize drugs

      1. Larry says:

        I’m with you. If I go to a pain clinic; I AM IN PAIN, no abusing. It is not like these people are robbing and stealing. If you take away their access to the pain clinics, watch the crime rate soar then.

  3. M Westie says:

    Glad I didn’t vote for Scott. He’s a crook and an idiot!

    1. FEDUPINFLORIDA says:

      What an idiot. He is gonna do way more damage than good. TEA PARTY MORONS AT THEIR BEST!!!!!!!!

    2. Larry says:

      He looks like an alien, doesn’t he?

  4. Al Merrill says:

    What do we expect when we elect a known criminal!!!!!

  5. Gregorio says:

    Sorry, this is what Florida gets for electing a tea pary radical!!
    YOU nuts voted for him!
    You get what you plant!

    1. LARRY says:

      diid anyone ever realize that the TEA PARTY is not a LEGALLY REGISTERED Politial Party in any of the UNITED STATES

  6. mario says:

    This is too funny. I thought so called Republicans are tough on crime. Looks like the opposite. This Gov is getting paid off from Drug companies. Why doesnt the I-Team do an investigation on this?? Come on CBS4 OPEN YOUR EYES see where the money flows…..doesnt take a brain surgeon to figure it out!!!!!!!!

    Its true, things will get much worse with this governor in FLA

  7. Linda Douglas says:

    As secretary of the recent Grand Jury that studied the abuse of pain clinics in Broward County I couldn’t disagree with the governor more. We are very late in clamping down on this problem which is why they all come here. Our last governor did nothing to curb the problem and I am very disappointed I apparently wasted my time for six months trying to promote their demise

  8. Sean says:

    Pill Mills are used to fuel Medicare fraud. Scott’s company’s profits were fueled by massive Medicare fraud. Connection?

  9. Al Merrill says:

    do you suppose????

  10. Ed says:

    Sorry I voted for him. I will not make the same mistake twice.

  11. Kevin says:

    I’m still getting over the fact that anyone, much less a majority, of people voted for this guy. He has apparently been blinded to reality by his absurd wealth.

  12. DOMINGO says:

    MAYBE THE GOVENER DONT WANT THE COMPUTER TO TRACK THE PILL CLINIC CAUSE MAYBE HE USES THEM AND DONT WANT ANYONE TO FIND OUT ABOUT IT THAT HIS USING AND GOING TO THE PILL CLINICS THESE WAY IF HE GET THE CONTROL COMPUTER OF LINE HE WILL NEVER BE TRACE .

    1. JustSpose says:

      Maybe the computer should track literacy rates in our country as well, and each time you post a comment with horrible English grammer, your database record is updated with your massive fail.

      1. JustSpose says:

        Uh oh… GRAMMAR… Crap. I get dinged… SEE HOW EASY IT IS?

  13. Barry M says:

    Unbelievable!. First he wants to disband public education and now he wants to take an effective tool away from law enforcement.
    I am a physician in Broward and I see drug seeking behavior every day in my office. Confidentiality? Nonsense! We need newer tools than the totally useless lock ’em up argument. That has never worked sofar so why does Scott think HIS idea is any better?

    I am sick to think that this is only
    gov. jackass’ second month in office.

    This is what you people voted for. A Tea Party fascist. FloriDUH is right!
    Gonna be quite a ride for the next four years! Hawaii anyone?

  14. lee says:

    I got the filling that this guy won’t end his term, he will probably resign or he will be kicked-out and he is gonna end up in jail someday.

  15. Tom W. says:

    I agree with this. Cops on steroids shouldn’t be arresting people for taking pills!

  16. Maya says:

    And that’s your governor…Florida is going to be a wasteland when he leaves. Kind of like Gotham City. Notice how he looks like Voldemort. Coincidence? I think not.

  17. Bert says:

    For all of the above people who commented I have one question. Do you like for government to interfere with your life? Well if the answer is no then that is exactly what this law will do. If you have a cold and you need to get a decongestant with pseudoephedrine what happens? You have to give you DL and sign your name. Why? So the State of Florida can keep track of how often you buy it. Why? Because they don’t want you to get hooked or make tons of crystal meth. I am neither a drug user or pusher, but I DO mind that they are meddling in my business. Newsflash if the junkies want to buy them in overdose quantities then go for it. They are only doing harm to themselves. Right now if you need oxycodone for REAL medical reasons you can’t get in anywhere. None of the big pharmacies have them and forget the mom and pop ones. No one wants to get in trouble by Big Brother. The doctors don’t even want to write you a prescription. So if you have cancer like my father did and needed large quantities of oxycodone for his pain he wouldn’t be able to get it. Why should an innocent cancer patient have to suffer. That is what is happening nowadays.

    God forbid any of you ever get sick and need a medication and that medication gets blacklisted like oxycodone. Then you’ll be changing your story. Do your homework and knows the facts before you start badmouthing anyone.

  18. LARRY says:

    GOV. RICK SCOTT (IS HE FOR REAL?) HAS NO BRAINS WHERE HE SITS. IS ONLY QUALIFICATIONS TO BE GOV OF A STATE IS HIS MONEY. AND HOW MANY PEOPLE DID HE SWINDLE TO GET THAT.

    WE NEED TO GET HIM RECALLED FOR INCOMPETANCE AND MAL FEASENSE. AND GET SOMEONE IN THE OFFICE WHO KNOWS WHAT THEY ARE DOING.

    GIVE THE GOVERNMENT BACK TO THE PEOPLE NOT TO SOMEONE WHO JUST BUYS A POLITICAL OFFICE. AND CALLS HIMSELF GOVERNOUR.

    HEY MR IDIOT SCOTT SAVE US THE TROUBLE AND JUST STEP DOWN AND RESIGN BEFORE THE PEOPLE MAKE YOU DO IT.

  19. Eve says:

    “Just pass my budget.”- Rick Scott. FL Gov sounds awfully familiar to a lovely young lady in DC by the name of Nancy Pelosi..

  20. Antony Padro says:

    This is just a clear example of how Scott is going to get back part of his 73 million he spent to get elected that he got from defrauding medicare. It simply doesn’t matter to him, the companies including those from China that profitt from oxicodone sales, how many people are killed by overdose or car related accidents as long as they can continue to line their already stuffed pockets with more cash. These drug addicts are driving through stop signs during the day and it is already an epidemic. not to mention what they will do to come up with the money to get more. This is great for the Bushes that own part of the prison systems that chrge the state for prisoner stays, great for the attourneys that get these pill-heads as clients as well

  21. Jeff Stack Sr says:

    Rick Scott has invested 5.5 mil in pharmaceutical companies in the past 5 years
    do you really think he will let any legislation pass that will hamper his profits?

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