News of the Day ... in Perspective5/2/2004
Florida rejects government-run prescription drug data base.
The Florida legislature blocked passage of HB 397, which would have created a data base accessible by physicians, pharmacists, and designated medical assistants, to include all prescriptions for any controlled substance. (www.sun-sentinel.com/news/local/florida/sfl-fdruglist01may01,0,2152725.story?coll=sfla-news-florida..
Rep. Dan Gelber (D-Miami Beach) said that the bill violated constitutionally protected liberties.
Rep. Rene Garcia (R-Miami) said: “If that’s not Big Brother, I don’t know what is. My parents fled a Communist country; government should not be in our everyday lives.”
The legislature did pass a bill (SB 1064) giving the State the ability to deny Medicaid benefits for a year or longer to those convicted of defrauding the program. It also gives the Agency for Health Care Administration more authority to obtain information about diagnoses before authorizing Medicaid payment, and to remove physicians from the program if they are found to be prescribing “inappropriate” amounts of medication.