Florida’s New Opioid Law Has Doctors Concerned
Florida’s new opioid law has a number of doctors concerned; namely because it does not just cover opioids, but a host of other drugs. Specifically, the law covers almost all medications currently classified as “Schedule II through V drugs,” including anti-seizure medications, Adderall, Ambien, ADHD medications, Ritalin, steroids, and Xanax. While it does not ban these medications outright, it does require that doctors first check a statewide database when prescribing from more than 100 scheduled drugs before writing the prescription.
Although agreeing that something needs to be done to reduce the availability of opioids, a number of doctors feel that this is not the right way to go about doing it, as it has arguably imposed onerous, time-consuming mandates, especially when it comes to patients on ADHD medications. Most doctors feel that providing prescriptions for medications like these already runs smoothly in terms of existing regulations and adding onerous new requirements will cause problems for both patients and providers.
Surgeons Concerned About Patients & Financial Losses
The new law also places a three-and seven-day limit on the prescription of all opioids for acute pain and requires that all health providers check the state’s prescription drug monitoring program before writing a new prescription for most-all controlled substances when the patient is 16 years and older. Any provider who fails to do so could face serious penalties involving their license.
As a result, according to a number of surgeons, the new law goes too far. For example, for someone who has just had major surgery, the seven-day limit is completely inadequate. They are also concerned that it could have an overall negative, chaotic impact on practices in general, as having to renew prescriptions every three or seven days could make it difficult to stay on top of needs for all patients who have just gone through surgery.
Some doctors are especially concerned about the potential financial repercussions: for those who already spend between 30 and 45 minutes a day on the database, this adds up to approximately a $750 loss in patients for whom there is no time to see. With the new law in place, this time and these losses would be significantly magnified.
In addition, there is little evidence to show that laws limiting opioid prescriptions have had any impact on curbing the opioid epidemic in general because laws reducing opioid prescriptions tend to do very little in reducing overdose deaths. The main drivers of overdose deaths today are illicit opioids such as carfentanil, fentanyl, and heroin.
Florida Drug Crime Defense Lawyer
If you are an individual or healthcare provider who has been charged with a drug crime in Florida while you were just trying to do your job, the penalties against you can be very harsh. Contact a team member at the Baez Law Firm for a free case consultation to learn what your rights are and how to ensure you are protected.