In response to Florida’s devastating opioid epidemic, Governor Rick Scott has signed a new high-profile bill into law aimed at combating prescription drug abuse in the state. Learn more about Florida’s new opioid laws below.

Scheduled to take effect on July 1, 2018, HB 21 is a bill that includes more than $65 million to support Florida’s fight against opioid addiction. The bill aims to limit opportunities for drug addiction, reduce the spread of dangerous opioids in the community, and provide much-needed support to those vulnerable to addiction.

Here’s how it works:

The new laws outlined in HB 21 restrict the use of prescribed opioids for acute pain to a minimum of three days unless specific conditions state otherwise. In this instance, a week’s supply of medication is approved. However, these new prescription limits will not affect those with cancer and other diagnosed forms of chronic pain.

The bill also requires the implementation of a statewide database or prescription drug monitoring program (PDMP), which requires action from both pharmacists and doctors. PDMP requires pharmacists to report detailed information before filling any prescriptions, and pharmacists are expected to consult the database before dispensing controlled substances. Failure to do so will result in several citations, leading to a misdemeanor offense.

House Speaker Richard Corcoran stated that this measure of the bill, referring to the three-day prescription limit, could save thousands of lives. He admitted that it’s a bit of an annoyance, but the benefits outweigh the added inconvenience.

Limiting practitioners’ ability to prescribe excessive amounts of opioids to treat acute and chronic pain prevents patients from “doctor-shopping” and obtaining large quantities of pain medications, leading to addiction.

Ramos Center is at the forefront of staying ahead of the curve in pain treatment. Dr. Fabian Ramos stated in recent interviews that only 18% of his patients take prescribed opioids, which is far less than what other doctor’s offices are currently prescribing.

Interventional Pain Medicine and pain treatment is a complex discipline that the professionals at Ramos Center have mastered. To see how they can help you, reach out today!

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