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Bill To Exempt Terminal Patient Caregivers From Florida's Opioid Database Advances

Mark Wallheiser
AP Photo

Lawmakers last session limited the prescription for a Schedule II opioid to a maximum 7-day supply, but one representative says they forgot something.

Sebring Republican Representative Cary Pigman says last year when the legislature passed a bill to crack down on opioid abuse lawmakers made one mistake.

“So we excluded patients from being considered for that, but one thing we forgot to do is that we forgot to give the same exemption to the physicians caring for those patients,” said Pigman.

Last year’s bill required health care practitioners to check a state run database before prescribing drugs to assure their patient was not receiving more than needed. Now, they want to exempt prescribers who dispenses to a patient for the relief of a terminal condition. Pigman says one of his friends works in palliative care.

“What he was finding is that it was taking him 5 to 10 minutes per patient to check the database, for a prescription that may need to be changed on Monday, again on Wednesday, again on Thursday and again on Friday,” explained Pigman.

The bill passed with full support Pigman says it is a simple fix it bill, to amend last year’s bill.

Blaise Gainey is a State Government Reporter for WFSU News. Blaise hails from Windermere, Florida. He graduated from The School of Journalism at the Florida A&M University. He formerly worked for The Florida Channel, WTXL-TV, and before graduating interned with WFSU News. He is excited to return to the newsroom. In his spare time he enjoys watching sports, Netflix, outdoor activities and anything involving his daughter.