Florida Governor Rick Scott signed HB 7095 into law, striking 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.”
Governor Scott was in Tampa today for a press conference with Hillsborough Sheriff David Gee and Pinellas Sheriff Jim Coats, when he signed the legislation into law.
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 Governor Scott’s effort to combat Florida’s scourge of prescription drug abuse.
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 our 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 return controlled substances back to distributors.
Ninety-eight of the nation’s top 100 Oxycodone purchasing physicians are in the state of Florida. Drug overdoses are responsible for an alarming seven deaths a day in this state.