Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi on Thursday announced her intentions to zero in on doctors who improperly dole out painkillers by slapping them with automatic suspensions or arrests.
“Our state has become the destination for distributors and abusers, and we have to stop it,” Bondi said at a news conference in the state Capitol. “We are the epicenter for the country in prescription-drug abuse.”
The proposed bill would:
•Automatically suspend doctors and fine them $10,000 if they are found to have broken state standards for the proper prescribing of controlled substances, including narcotic pills such as oxycodone.
•Make it a crime for doctors who do not perform a physical exam before prescribing pain pills to a patient. A doctor’s third violation would carry a felony charge.
•Make it a felony for pain clinic owners to use false or fraudulent information to become registered in Florida.
•Penalize a pharmacy or drug dispenser that fails to report the theft of controlled-substance medications within 48 hours.
Bondi’s proposal goes beyond the penalties doctors now face for improperly prescribing painkilling drugs. The state’s medical boards, which oversee doctors, have the power to revoke or suspend physician licenses and levy fines. But the penalties are not mandatory, as Bondi is urging.
Originally reported in the Sun-Sentinel.