WASHINGTON (CBS4) – Florida Governor Rick Scott made his way to Washington Thursday to testify before Congress on the rise of pill mills in the Sunshine State and across the country.
Governor Scott has drawn criticism for initially deciding to fight a proposed prescription drug database for the state to help fight pill mills. Scott eventually relented and the database is set to go online soon.
For Scott and Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear, the problem is linked between both states. Nearly all of the top 100 doctors dispensing oxycodone nationally are based in Florida and more doses of oxycodone are dispensed in Florida than the rest of the nation.
According to Scott’s own charts, Miami-Dade and Broward County account dispatched 36.6 million of the 126 million oxycodone pills dispensed by the top 100 Florida pharmacies.
But, Florida has become a pipeline of oxycodone, also known as hillbilly heroin, to Kentucky. Beshear said that part of the problem was that Florida didn’t have a database to help track the drug abuse. He also had strong words for Congress.
“This is a national problem that demands national solutions,” said Beshear, a Democrat.
Scott called the explosion of pill mills in the Sunshine State, “a criminal plague.” He spoke more about his law enforcement than the database, but did say that Florida is working with other states to shutdown the national drug pipeline some call the “Oxy Express.”
“Doctors who have forsaken their commitment to people’s health in exchange for the quick buck of unethical and criminal dispensing must be put to an end,” Scott said.
Beshear said 82 people in Kentucky died every month from prescription drug overdoses. He urged Congress to give more funding to fight the pill mill growth, especially in South Florida.