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Florida Drug Database Not Being Used by Majority of Pharmacists

David W. Hodges
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Partner at Kennedy Hodges LLP practicing pharmacy error, medical malpractice and personal injury law
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The Florida State Board of Pharmacy was recently told about the fact that only ten percent of doctors and one-third of pharmacists are using the state’s prescription drug database. This means that ninety percent of doctors and two-thirds of pharmacists within the state of Florida are ignoring the database.

Federal officials discussed the seriousness of this issue at the recent board meeting in Miami; however, not everyone on the Board is concerned with this issue. It seems as if only one consumer member of the board is very concerned that the state’s database is being ignored and wants to require a mandatory check. Unfortunately, Florida legislators did not pass a bill that would have required the use of the database.

What Exactly Is the State’s Database?

In 2010, Florida set up an electronic prescription monitoring database that tracks how patients receive narcotic pain pills from pharmacists. This database allows doctors and pharmacists to access information on individuals in order to track drug misuse and refuse giving out addictive drugs, helping to limit drug abuse by drug addicts. This database is known as the Electronic Florida Online Reporting of Controlled Substances Evaluation program (E-FORCSE).

Gavin Meshad, a Florida State Board of Pharmacy member (a consumer member on a board led by pharmacists) is also chairing a subcommittee on prescription drug abuse, and he is calling for the board to make database checks mandatory for certain prescriptions. He is unhappy that the board is backing off on requiring mandatory checks because it appears they don’t want to put any more mandates on pharmacists.

Do you feel that stronger checks should be put in place and that pharmacists should be required to check the state’s database before prescribing addictive painkillers? Our pharmacy error attorneys are interested in your opinion. Please call Kennedy Hodges at 888-526-7616 or contact us online via our contact form and share your thoughts with us.

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