Florida’s legislature is working thru several workers’ comp bills – and the news isn’t good. A PDMP bill has been emasculated; Florida’s prescription drug monitoring program won’t require physicians check the system before prescribing drugs.
And while there’s ongoing negotiations on a bill addressing physician-dispensed drugs, at this point it looks like Florida’s employers will have to pay more for physician-dispensed drugs than they would if those drugs were dispensed by retail pharmacies.
This is a fluid situation and may well change – and we can only hope it does. We are also wondering where the retail pharmacies and food/drug combos are in the discussion; there is no evidence that physicians pay more for their drugs than drug stores do, so forcing employers and taxpayers to cough up millions to line the pockets of dispensers and their enablers is nothing more than extortion.
That said, it is clear that the Florida Medical Association has once again ignored their Hippocratic oath to do no harm; according to Mike Whitely’s piece in WorkCompCentral the FMA got the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Mike Fasano R New Port Richey, to “drop a requirement that Florida physicians consult the PDMP before prescribing drugs on Schedules II and III of the US Drug Enforcement Administration’s controlled substances list.”
Notably Rep. Fasano appears to have removed that requirement in hopes that in so doing the bill would have a better chance of passage. That said, the FMA’s position is short-sighted and self-serving. According to the vice chair of the FL PDMP Foundation, it “makes sense for doctors to check the database and it takes 30 seconds.” [emphasis added].
So. Thirty seconds is more important to the FMA – and their members – than preventing doctor-shopping, reducing criminal behavior, and saving lives.
Lest you think I’m being hyperbolic, doctor shopping kills people. And speaking about the Tennessee law requiring docs check the PDMP database before prescribing, “There’s no question the law there will reduce overprescribing and doctor-shopping, said Gary Zelizer, director of government affairs for the Tennessee Medical Association. Yet reducing over-prescribing, doctor-shopping, and the resulting deaths and injuries is less important than saving 30 seconds.
For those interested in doctor-shoppers’ views on PDMPs, read this. Abusers hate PDMPs that mandate physician checks of the PDMP before prescribing.