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Florida, a National Model   Jul . 21 . 2014

Recently, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), highlighted the state of Florida as a model for its successful reduction in prescription drug overdose deaths from 2010-2012. Applauding Florida’s policy and law enforcement measures, the CDC urges other states across the nation to follow suit.

During an 8 year period, from 2003–2009, Florida had seen the number of deaths caused by drug overdose increase 61%. To combat this drastic statistic, “Florida implemented various laws and enforcement actions as part of a comprehensive effort to reverse the trend (CDC).” Some of the actions taken included requiring registration of legitimate pain clinics, as well as mandatory reporting to the PMP by dispensers. The combined laws and regulations resulted in the shutdown of 250 rogue pain clinics by 2013, and the drop from 98 high-volume oxycodone prescribers in 2010, to zero in 2013.

Each day across the United States, 46 people die from prescription painkiller overdose. Efforts like those made by the state of Florida, as well as New York and Tennessee- which have also seen an reduction in overdose deaths, can serve as a model. Terminating illegitimate pain clinics and enforcing accounting to the prescription monitoring program (PMP) are two effective methods of reducing prescription painkiller overdose fatalities on a state-by-state basis. While statewide rules and regulations are a great indication of progress, it is important not to underestimate the role that physicians also play. Safe and secure prescribing practices also have a great impact in curbing the national epidemic of prescription drug abuse.

For more information on the CDC report examining the decline of drug overdose deaths as a result of Florida’s policy changes please visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

This post was sourced, in part, by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP), and the CDC. Information for this blog post has been obtained with permission by the author of the original article, the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy. For more information about NABP, please visit http://www.nabp.net

 

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