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Florida's Prescription Drug Monitoring Plan (PDMP) Can End The Pill Mill Crisis, Yet The Office Of Drug Control Says There's Not Enough Funding

VENICE, Fla., Aug. 10 /PRNewswire/ -- The following statement is being issued by the Florida Society of Pain Management Providers.

Leaders of state and national pain management organizations are taking action in response to a recent  email issued by the State of Florida's Office of Drug Control (ODC) indicating that the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP), mandated by Florida legislation SB462 (2009), may fail to get the funding it needs to become operational and/or remain operational. According to an ODC's weekly update, "In short, we need to raise more money – about $530,000 -- in a fairly short period of time to meet these deadlines…."

A PDMP system is an electronic database that collects information on controlled substances that are dispensed throughout the state. The purpose of the PDMP is to address the abuse and diversion of prescription drugs. Currently, there are 42 states with laws authorizing the establishment and operation of PDMPs. Of those states, 33 are operational, and nineteen impose no burden on physicians.

"The citizens of Florida should be outraged that the single most important piece of legislation that could directly reduce accidental deaths from diverted prescription medications has been intentionally left without state funding and must rely solely on grants and donations to start up and continue operating. This fiscal nonsense ultimately delayed the PDMP's implementation by more than a year and counting and was done by a unanimous vote of the 2009 Florida legislature. In 2010, the PDPM was not even considered for state funding," says Paul Sloan, Director of the Florida Society of Pain Management Providers.

What the Florida citizens got instead in 2010 is a statute that requires all new pain physicians entering the field after July 1, 2010 be fellowship trained in pain medicine. What makes this worthless is that within all Florida Medical Schools combined there are only seven such fellowship training slots available each year and there is no requirement for graduates to practice in Florida. In all fairness the legislation did make one effective solution by requiring the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) licensing of all non- physician owned clinics thus ensuring significant operating standards plus FBI and FDLE background checks on all clinic personnel.

"But what is even more concerning is that this latest law will do little to end the abuse and diversion of prescription drugs and thousands of people with pain will suffer. What is and has always been required is a properly funded operating PDMP system," says Dr. Jeffery Zipper, Director of the National Pain Institute.

Alarmed that the PDMP will not get properly funded, the American Academy of Pain Management (the Academy), the Florida Society of Pain Management Providers (FLSPMP), and National Pain Institute (NPI) have put forth two workable options to fund the PDMP:
  1. Place a one-half cent surcharge on all prescriptions filled in Florida. This would completely fund the PDMP's annual budget. According to AARP there are 233 million prescriptions filled each year in Florida.
  2. Require all state registered pain clinics to pay an annual PDMP fee of $1,000, which would fund the annual budget of the PDMP system.

"Pennies saved are lives lost," says Lennie Duensing, Executive Director of the American Academy of Pain Management.  "Our organizations believe that it is time to fund the legislation that will saves lives and directly work against the pill mill problem without disenfranchising legitimate patients and the physicians who treat them."

About the Organizations:

The American Academy of Pain Management (AAPM)

From its inception in 1988, the Academy has been truly interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary. Our members include clinicians who represent a wide number of disciplines including physicians (about 60%), PAs, nurses, psychologists, dentists, pharmacists, physical therapists, acupuncturists, and others. The Academy's mission is to advance the field of pain management and improve the lives of those in pain through an integrative model of care.

The Florida Society of Pain Management Providers (FLSPMP)

The Florida Society of Pain Management Providers is a Florida not for profit Corporation founded on three principles:
  • To ensure Floridians access to affordable and effective pain management through the use of controlled medications.
  • To ensure all physicians the right to treat chronic pain with controlled medications.
  • To ensure that physicians and facilities operate in a safe and responsible manner.  or

The National Pain Institute (NPI)

The National Pain Institute practices an interdisciplinary approach to pain management. The Institute's comprehensive pain management treatment team includes:  physicians, physical therapists, biofeedback technicians, psychologists, vocational rehabilitation counselors, and case managers. The National Pain Institute is leading the way to establish national standards regarding pain management.

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