Liana Aghajanian via Flickr

Chances are, most people hadn’t heard of compounding pharmacies until a deadly national meningitis outbreak last year was traced back to one such facility in Massachusetts. Following a federal crackdown, Florida lawmakers took steps today toward imposing additional restrictions on compounding pharmacies that ship medicine into the Sunshine State.

Michelle Ress via Flickr

A bill allowing Florida pharmacists to oversee six times as many technicians is moving again in the Legislature after passing the full House last year. The Florida Pharmacy Association opposes the change because they say it could lead to more mistakes.

The bill passed the first of two scheduled House committees by a vote of 8-to-4 Wednesday. Rep. Joe Saunders (D-Orlando) says he voted no because he thinks patient safety could suffer for the sake of profit.

David Monniaux

Fewer Floridians died from drug overdose last year than the year before—and the number dying from the prescription painkiller oxycodone dropped by 41 percent. But at the same time, heroin overdose deaths nearly doubled—and people who work with drug addicts say they’re not at all surprised by the trend.

Since 2010, Florida lawmakers and law enforcement officers have cracked down on so-called pill mills—those doctors’ offices prescribing such large amounts of painkillers they’d been labeled “drug pushers in lab coats.”

On the second floor of the state Capitol building a sea of white coats swarm the halls. At different places in the lobby are tables offering bone density screenings, dermatological checks, cholesterol tabs—a mini medical center. The displays showcase some of the services that local pharmacies provide. But the agenda isn’t just to offer some free medical checkups—it’s also meant to promote an issue— getting vaccinated against potentially deadly diseases.