Please do not allow Florida to repeal the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program!
I am writing to ask that you reject any proposal to repeal or further delay the implementation of Florida’s Prescription Drug monitoring program (PDMP).
PDMPs allow physicians and pharmacists to log each filled prescription into a state database to help medical professionals prevent abusers from obtaining prescriptions from multiple doctors. The purpose of Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs is to enhance the capacity of regulatory and law enforcement agencies to collect and analyze controlled substance prescription data. Prescription drug monitoring programs are being used to deter and identify illegal activity such as prescription forgery, indiscriminate prescribing and “doctor shopping.” These programs assist health care professionals in managing patient care and have been an extremely successful in thwarting drug diversion in a number of states.
Florida has seen the effects of not having such programs in place. In 2009 the FL Medical Examiners Office reported 2,488 individuals died with at least one prescription drug in their system that was identified as the cause of death. That’s approximately 7 people a day!
Long supported by legislators, law enforcement officials, anti-drug advocates, and concerned community members, the PDMP is a tool that 42 other states use to track the illegal distribution of narcotic drugs from pain clinics. Law Enforcement will be able to reduce their investigation time and increase efficiency as their workload intensifies due to drug fueled robberies, fraud and murders.
Florida legislators agreed to create the database two years ago, but it has been stalled due to a bidding dispute among potential contractors.
Because Florida lacks a PDMP, the state has become the mecca for black-market pill dispensing where addicts and drug dealers amass large quantities of drugs from rogue pain clinics. Florida is now known as a “source state” and has many drug tourists from out-of-state, fueling drug problems of crime and addiction in other states.
The economic costs of adverse events caused by drug use are estimated to be $22,867,843,781. This means that $2,610,484 is spent every hour consequent to drug use. This translates into a little over $43,000 spent every minute due to drug use.
Approximately 3% of Florida’s Gross Domestic Product is spent on adverse events caused by drug use.
The total costs translate to approximately $1400 per person over the age of 12 every year.
For the safety and financial stability of our state, I urge you to support the PDMP. Prescription drug fraud hurts the state of Florida in loss of lives, increased crime, addiction, health care costs, medical expenses and Medicaid fraud, which all Floridians ultimately pay. The families of Florida are counting on your support to help prevent prescription drug abuse.